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Displaying items by tag: tourism

#CoastalNotes - Donegal's history and relationship with the coastline are celebrated by a new coastal trail launched earlier this month.

As the Donegal Democrat reports, a special training programme has been developed for business owners and others along the new Atlantic Coastal Trail to "teach the people of this county to be proud of the story of Donegal", in the words of Údarás na Gaeltachta's Meadbh Seoige.

The Gaeltacht authority is one of a number of partners in the initiative to promote the county's "maritime leisure and seafood experiences" as highlighted by Donegal Cathaoirleach Terence Slowey.

"We’re working on where we fall short in visitor numbers," explained Donegal County Council chief executive Seamus Neely. "One statistic is that as little as 12% of tourists who visit the Wild Atlantic Way actually travel north of Galway city."

The Donegal Democrat has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#WildAtlanticWay - Virtual reality views of some of the top destinations and attractions along the Wild Atlantic Way are now online, showcasing Ireland like it's never been seen before.

As previously reported on, the 360-degree virtual tours were launched by Fáilte Ireland at the ITB Berlin travel fair in March, and promised an immersive experience for users of new VR gadgets like the Samsung VR and Oculus Rift.

But anyone with a smartphone and an inexpensive attachment like Google Cardboard can also explore the full list of breathtaking activities that includes surfing beneath the Cliffs of Moher and sea stack climbing at Donegal's Slieve League, according to the Irish Examiner.

The virtual reality videos can even be viewed on any computer desktop – simply click and drag on the screen as the videos play to see the sights from all angles.

The 360-degree virtual tours launch comes as news emerges that only a fraction of potential visitors to Ireland are aware of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Just 7% of tourists surveyed by Fáilte Ireland new of the initiative promoting the attractions of Ireland's Atlantic coast, according to Galway Bay FM – with officials promising to improve this figure to 20% amid calls for more towns along the route, like Salthill in Galway, to highlight their place on the map.

Published in Aquatic Tourism
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#Inishbofin - Inishbofin has become the first Irish island to be recognised for its sustainable tourism efforts in an international awards scheme.

As The Irish Times reports, a number of the Connemara island's residents and local organisations will share in the Ecotourism award sanctioned by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Angling, sailing and stand-up paddle boarding are some of the aquatic activities that helped clinch the accolade that's already gone to sustainable seaside attractions in Spiddal and Clifden.

In other news, county councillors are mooting a programme of safety works on slipways across Galway, according to Galway Bay FM.

The move follows the controversial restriction of access to the slipway at Galway Docks last month in the wake of the Buncrana tragedy in March.

Published in Galway Harbour

#Tourism - A new report from the Scottish government says the marine tourism sector is worth £3.7 billion (€4.7 billion) annually.

And more than a third of that spend is on water-based activities from sailing and surfing to kayaking, angling and marine wildlife watching, according to BBC News.

Businesses in the sector who contributed to the Scottish Marine Recreation and Tourism Survey say they are optimistic about growth over the next five years, coinciding with the industry's five-year action plan as previously reported on

As such, the Irish marine sector will be watching with interest to see how Scotland's strategy could inspire a boost in this country's burgeoning aquatic tourism industry – much in the same way Ireland's sailing tourism sector inspired the Scots five years ago.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism
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#CorkHarbour - Spike Island's new interpretive centre is scheduled to welcome its first visitors this summer, according to the Evening Echo.

As previously reported on, Block B of the old prison building was earmarked for refurbishment as a visitor centre for what's hoped to be a major tourist attraction in Cork Harbour.

The first phase of these works, comprising a new pontoon and pier upgrades as well as a previously envisaged exhibition of military memorabilia, is now expected to be ready and open to the public by June.

A passenger ferry service from Cobh to Spike Island will also be running in time for the summer season.

The Evening Echo has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour

#WildAtlanticWay - Very soon potential visitors to Ireland will be able to see the Wild Atlantic Way like it's never been seen before – in virtual reality. reports on the new Fáilte Ireland initiative, launched at the ITB Berlin travel fair earlier this week, to provide 360-degree virtual tours of some of Ireland's most breathtaking coastal sites.

Users of brand-new virtual reality gadgets like the Samsung VR and the Oculus Rift will be able to fully immerse themselves in attractions such as cycling across the wilds of the Burren, or surfing at the foot of the Cliffs of Moher.

But the experience won't be limited to early adopters of technology, as the VR video tours will also be available on YouTube for anyone with a computer to explore at the click of a mouse. has more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism
Tagged under

#Tourism - A number of waterside destinations feature in a new Lonely Planet list of the top 21 things to do in Ireland - just in time for the St Patrick's Festival. has the lowdown on the tourism and travel guide's picks, which include the windswept coasts and breathtaking lakes of Connemara, the picturesque Dingle Peninsula, the 'unforgettable' Glendalough and the stunning sights around the Ring of Kerry.

And that's not to mention the rugged beauty of the Donegal coastline, the magnificence of the Causeway Coast and the remarkable history of Titanic Belfast.

Published in Aquatic Tourism
Tagged under

According to a recent report from leading marine industry body British Marine, domestic holidays in England that incorporate boating or watersports are some of the most popular tourism experiences.

Over 75% of Great Britain’s boating tourism experiences take place in England and in 2014, over 4 million holidays involving an on the water activity were recorded, representing a 9% share of the total English tourism market.

The research, conducted in conjunction with VisitEngland, shows that in England, more domestic holidays involved an activity such as sailing, watersports, canal boating and sightseeing trips that included a passenger boat trip than activities such as visiting a museum or historic house or castle:

· 2,260,000 went on a sightseeing trip, including passenger boat trips, contributing £744m to the UK economy

· 1,011,000 took part in a manual watersport, such as kayaking, spending £315m

· 967,000 went on a canal boat trip, spending £336m

· 391,000 went sailing, spending over £123m

· 110,000 took part in a motorised watersport, such as jet-skiing, spending £33m

This market is driven by the boating haven of the South West, which hosts over a third of all English boating tourism holidays, with canal boating in the Midlands, sailing on the Suffolk coast and sightseeing boat trips on the Thames all being named as popular boating tourism destinations and activities.

Alastair Wilson, Senior Researcher at British Marine commented: “It’s fantastic to see that the findings from the “Domestic Boating Tourism Market in Great Britain” report are so positive for boating tourism in England. We are continuing to see our members within the sector experience positive growth for their business. It is great to be able to celebrate these fantastic findings during VisitEngland’s English Tourism Week.”

Published in Aquatic Tourism
Tagged under

#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland's latest tourism guide for Voyages and Visits was officially launched yesterday (Thursday 14 January) at Belfast's Holiday World Show.

The guide contains all the essential navigational and practical information required to help in planning a voyage or visit to the eight inland navigations on the island of Ireland under the remit of Waterways Ireland.

Voyages and Visits is free and available to order in print or download from the Waterways Ireland online shop HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#StarWars - Tourism Ireland is hoping the success of the new Star Wars movie will attract fans in their droves to Skellig Michael and the Kerry coast, as reports.

And the tourism marketing board has launched a new video extolling the virtues of the UNESCO world heritage site, which will play a big role in Episode VIII of the Star Wars saga due in cinemas in May next year.

But not everyone will be happy with the growing interest in the vulnerable island habitat for many protected marine species, coming just weeks after Birdwatch Ireland said the most recent film shoot on the island was "not compliant" with the EU habitats directive.

Published in Island News
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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.


While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset


While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020

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