Displaying items by tag: Irish Marine Federation
Over 120 marine trade and leisure companies from Ireland and Wales are coming together in Dun Laoghaire this week to examine ways to combat the current economic downturn on both sides of the Irish Sea.
Speakers at the conference at the Royal Marine Hotel are drawn from Industry representative organisations, tourism bodies, marine leisure companies, business development specialists, economists and irish-sea.org will provide insights and share knowledge on how to survive the downturn and emerge leaner and stronger when the recovery arrives.
The conference will also provide an industry wide networking opportunity for companies from Ireland and Wales to share experiences and develop business links across the Irish Sea.
Irish-sea.org is an Ireland/Wales Interreg IVA Programme to develop the Irish Sea into a marine leisure centre of excellence.
The programme provides help and support to the sector on both sides of the Irish Sea through marketing, business and vocational training and assisting in the acquisition of research data.
The Irish Marine Federation's Steve Conlon is to meet with Ms. Mirna Cieniewicz, Secretary General of The European Boating Industry, to discuss the implications of the changes recently announced by EU Vice President Antonio Tajani.
Vice President Tajani announced changes to the EU Recreational Craft Directive, a move towards a common European Union Boat license and a new EU Tourism Policy.
The RCD has been unchanged since its adoption, however, there has been a wide divergence in its interpretation in different member states. The new RDC intends to remove ambiguities and provide clarity. It will also deal with environmental issues. It is expected that the full text of the new RCD will be available in November.
Vice President Tajani revealed that the Commission was investigating if it would be helpful to apply in all member states a UN resolution which would create a common certificate of competence for all boaters. The Commission expect to make a survey at the beginning of 2011.
On the 30th of June the Commission adapted a communication on a new political framework for tourism. This is a direct result of the Lisbon Treaty. The Vice President insists that there is a dedicated action to develop sustainable coastal and marine tourism and that the European Marine Leisure Industry should take full advantage of this opportunity.
The IMF will continue to work with the European Boating Industry to lobby the EU to ensure that EU legislation is fully supportive of the industry as a whole. The IMF will continue to seek to ensure that the RCD is fully integrated and policed in Ireland at the same time ensuring that Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland promote marine leisure tourism as a fully integrated tourism product at home and overseas.
The redevelopment of the 24-acre Marina Commercial Park in the heart of Cork city's docklands is expected to create 5,000 jobs once completed.
City manager Joe Gavin said: "This 24-acre site is at the heart of Cork's docklands and the announcement is a crucial step in realising Cork City Council's vision for the whole docklands area."
"It's a fantastic story in these bleak times and of course it would greatly add to boating in the south. It's also an example to the rest of the country of the opportunities that lie in city waterways", said David O'Brien of the Irish Marine Federation.The proposed development features:
* More than 800 apartments, providing homes for up to 2,230 people.
* A marina where they can park their boats.
* A range of community amenities.
* A visitor and science centre, the Ford Experience, which is expected to attract up to 300,000 visitors annually.
* A new central plaza to provide a hub for the community, including a creche and library.
Wexford Councillors and County Council officials have come together to seek European assistance to help save the stalled Courtown marina, news of the move was published in the Gorey ECHO.
"This is precisely the kind of question our politicians we need to ask if we're ever to complete the necklace of marinas around our coastline, said the IMF's David O'Brien.
Plans for a 230-berth marina in Courtown were unveiled in November 2008 and included apartments and retail units. The plans also included the construction of a breakwater off the south pier in the village.
Childers visited the north Wexford seaside village to discuss the possibility of restarting the project which has been stalled since 2008 due to the economic recession.
Following her meeting with council officials and county councillors, Ms. Childers submitted a Parliamentary Question regarding the possibilities for getting financial assistance for marina facilities in Ireland.
In the question Childers says: "Is there funding opportunities or other supports available from the European Union in order to assist in providing finance for the development of marina facilities in Ireland to enhance our tourism product?"
Ireland, as an island nation, is working to develop its infrastructure as a destination for sailing holidays.
"The development of marinas in a sustainable fashion at key locations around the coast of Ireland to accommodate sailing and boating activities would benefit from investment from a tourism and economic development point of view." said Childers.
For every euro spent berthing in Courtown marina visiting sailors will spend 10 in the village, according to our research, says O'Brien. Huge Tourism benefits can literally come in on the tide, if only we had the infrastructure", he added.
The IMF is the national body that represents the marine leisure industry including the Irish Marina Operators Association (IMOA).
The County Council carried out a feasibility study which found that the marina had to be self-funding through sale of apartments and other units as there was no government funding for such developments.
Speaking this week, Director of Services with Wexford County Council, Niall McGuigan said: "It is currently not financially feasible but we hope for the best. We would be very eager for it to go ahead."
Mr. McGuigan said that the project was on hold until either funding became available, an investor was found or a combination of both.
The Irish Marine Federation in its role as lead partner in the Interreg Programme, irish-sea.org, is currently working on the following projects. Executive Steve Conlon gives the following update to afloat.ie:
Marine Leisure Conference:
A conference to assist marine leisure companies to survive the current downturn on both sides of the Irish Sea is currently being planned. A number of high level speakers will be engaged to give advice on how to survive the recession and to bring forward development ideas to assist growth once the economies on both sides of the Irish Sea recover. The exact details of the speakers and the content is still being developed so if you have any suggestions for speakers or subjects to be covered please contact Steve Conlon. We intend this to be a seminal event of major importance to the industry so to ensure the maximum value can be gained for our members your input into the content and the context will be invaluable.
The establishment of a number of Coastal Communities around our coasts to boast the marine leisure industry and to ensure that maximum number of marine leisure companies can benefit from the Interreg Programme. Two new coastal Communities about to get underway, Tralee Bay and Waterford/East Cork.
National Maritime Spatial Plan:
The Coastal Communities will also ensure that marine leisure becomes fully integrated into the national Maritime Spatial Plan when it is developed through contributing to a coastal audit of all marine leisure activities. Through our partners in South Wales, The Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum will assist us to produce an Integrated Coast Zone Policy for marine Leisure. This will be delivered through a number of workshops around the coast.
Marine Festivals and Events:
We have published the Social Economic Study into the value of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta: Copies of the study are available from Steve Conlon. The study provides an insight into the spend per boat, the tourism aspects of the event and also the visitor spend. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is using some of the data collected for another project that they are conducting into the development of a new brand image for the Town of Dun Laoghaire. The total value of the regatta is put at €2.4 million.
Irish-sea.org is also conducting a similar study for the Town of Wicklow who held a Sailfest in conjunction with the Conway Round Ireland Race. This study is still being compiled and the results will be published later in the Autumn. The Interreg Programme worked with both Wicklow Sailing Club and the local Wicklow Chamber of Commerce on the event and the study. Approx 10,000 people visited the town during the 3 days of the festival.
The Fenit based Coastal Community held a successful Seabreeze Festival as part of the Round Ireland Powerboat race. The Interreg Programme assisted the Community with several aspects of the event.
Several marine leisure businesses have benefited from the business training that is available through the County Enterprise Boards. If you wish to be involved in this activity please contact Steve Conlon.
Marina Management Training:
Irish-sea.org has been working with the British Marine Federation/Yacht Harbours Association to bring a number of courses to Ireland. We had hoped to run an "Intermediate Marina Managers" course in Ireland this year but this has now been but back until the spring of next year. The BMF will run a full Certified Marina Managers Course in Ireland in the Autumn. If there are any members who have the pre-qualifications for this course please contact Steve Conlon as the programme would like to assist as many of those who do qualify to participate. The BMF have chosen Ireland as the location to run this international course in competition with a number of other locations. Ireland came out tops in every respect from the well run marina facilities that they visited, travel access and transfer, conference and hotel facilities. Ireland as a venue came out tops in almost every criterion tested so from a marine leisure tourism perspective the holding of this prestigious course in Ireland may help put us on the map.
Contact: [email protected]
It might be the least expected outcome after a torrid two years in boat sales but now Irish brokers have few large boats left to sell. The scarcity stems from the fact that Irish second-hands have been snapped up by foreign bargain hunters over the past two years.
Irish businesses got a shot in the arm today with the news that UK VAT rates are to go up from 17.5% to 20%.The VAT differential will only be 1% compared to just over a year ago when it was 6.5%. "This makes large ticket items such as boats and equipment much more affordable at home and Irish business more competitive. It will help a lot with the problem of people crossing the border to shop" said Irish Marine Federation (IMF) chairman David O'Brien.
The Irish Marine Federation, an IBEC affiliated trade association, expressed concern at the implications for the marine industry when the UK Government reduced 2.5% to 15% with effect from 1 December 2008. It said then the effect would decimate the Irish Marine Industry, a forecast that proved correct.
British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne increased the value-added tax rate to 20 percent from 17.5 percent in the first permanent change to the levy on sales of goods and services in almost two decades.
"The years of debt and spending make this unavoidable," Osborne told Parliament in London in his emergency budget today as he announced a package of spending cuts and tax increases to cut the U.K.'s record deficit.
The Federation, that represents, the marine leisure industry has also renewed its call for VAT on safety equipment such as lifejacket and radios to to be abolished.
A turnout estimated in excess of 350 people produced Euro 500,000 in sales at a Used Boat Show in Dun Laoghaire at the weekend. The Coal Harbour based marine firm, MGM Boats Ltd say the three day show led to at least seven boat sales. The boats, both sail and power craft, were from the company's brokerage list and represented a significant uplift in business. "The mood has changed, show goers were drawn from our existing customers and those definitely interested in boating", said the firms Gerry Salmon.
Sales of boats varied from a Moody 31 Sailing Cruiser that is staying locally to Jeanneau motorboats; a leader 805, a Prestige 34 foot and Prestige 30 foot. Deposits were also taken on a Sea Ray 250 DA speedboat, a small brig RIB and a Maxum 25 speedboat.
The Irish marine trade is recovering lost ground this spring according to the Irish Marine Federation's Mark McAuley. Having discussed market conditions with market leaders, it is clear that the market’s appetite for boats and boating holidays has improved – “As an industry, we sat down and took a hard look at the way things are going after a long dark winter for the industry. The great news is that boat sales are up around 30% compared to spring 2009. This increase is from a low base, but it’s good to see an upturn. Consumers are responding to the very competitive prices that are being offered by boat sellers to encourage people back into the market.”
Boating holidays on the Shannon are proving more popular. According to McAuley, “The hire boat fleet on the Shannon has shrunk somewhat over the last few years but bookings are up compared to last year and a bit of good weather could deliver a good season. Things have been helped by Bord Failte’s marketing of boating holidays to the Irish and continental European markets.”
“The marinas are also starting to fill up again. Since 2008 berths became readily available where once there were none, but the marinas have responded by lowering their prices and occupancy rates are rising in the major boating centres of Dublin, Cork and elsewhere.”
“Whilst the marine leisure market peaked like many others in 2006 and still has a long way to go if it is to reach those sorts of levels again, it is good to see that consumers are beginning to respond to the new pricing across the industry. There is an acute awareness that consumers are looking for value for money but, once they see it, there is now a willingness to buy.”
“Business costs remain a real problem, especially in light of falling prices. Rent and rates are big fixed costs and should have reduced in line with the market, but upward only rent reviews are blocking this. Competition in the domestic market is intense and our punitive VAT rate has eroded our competitiveness against UK suppliers.”
“The Irish Marine Federation is working hard to assist the industry and ensure it is well placed to take advantage of these small upswings in the market. The recession has had a huge impact on the industry and many companies have not survived, but the core of the industry is still there doing business. They are leaner and eager to keep people engaged in boating around our coasts and on our inland waterways. We have a wonderful marine environment and it’s great to see people out there enjoying it. No industry could ask for better a better foundation than that.”