Angling tourists to Waterville, Co. Kerry spend on average €644 during their stay, according to research published today by Inland Fisheries Ireland with assistance from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). The research, which was carried out withthe Waterville Lakes and River Trust, highlights the significant recreational and economic value of the fisheries resource to the area.
The Waterville Angler Survey, which surveyed 207 anglers during the 2015 angling season found that, on average, angling visitors to Waterville spend €644 per fishing trip or €114 per day. The impact of this expenditure is far reaching across the local community with €451 spent on non-angling items such as accommodation, restaurants/cafes and groceries and €193 of angling expenditure on items such as angling guides, boat hire and equipment.
The daily spend of anglers in Waterville (€114) far exceeds the spending of non-angling visitors to Ireland. Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Facts Report 2015 cites expenditure of non-angling visitors and holiday makers at €68 and €89 per person per day in 2015.
Angling visitors also show huge loyalty to Waterville which is a renowned fishing destination for domestic and overseas anglers. Of those surveyed, 40 per cent have visited the area more than 20 times with 60 per cent visiting 10 times or more, an extremely high return rate in tourism terms. Anglers tend to spend a few days in the area with almost a quarter (24 per cent) staying longer than a week, 25 per cent staying two nights and a further 24 per cent staying two or three nights. An incredible 99.5 per cent of those surveyed said they would like to return to Waterville again.
Angling was often the sole attraction of the area to these visitors with 40 per cent taking part in no alternative activities during their stay. The majority of anglers travelled to Waterville with friends or family with two thirds (68 per cent) reporting that their party contained between two to four anglers who fished during their stay. They came from Great Britain (17.5 per cent), mainland Europe (5 per cent), other overseas areas (2 per cent) and Ireland (75.5%).
Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “Waterville is one of Ireland’s many precious fishing locations. Ireland is known for its indigenous wild fish populations and beautiful scenery which make it a top angling destination. This research in the Waterville area confirms that angling is bringing huge economic value to this rural community. We know that anglers to Waterville often visit outside of the Summer Months (May 40 per cent, April 28 per cent and October 19 per cent), thereby extending the season for tourism season providers. Anglers also tend to develop a relationship with an area which can lead to them taking multiple trips per year.
We cannot underestimate the importance of protecting this resource both in terms of our responsibility to the aquatic habitat and the fish that live there, but also to the community and local businesses which benefit hugely from the resource throughout the year.”
Key Findings from the Waterville Angler Study:
- On average angling visitors to Waterville spend €644 per fishing trip, which breaks down as €114 spend per day
- 53% have visited Waterville for more than 10 years, and 31% have visited for more than 20 years
- Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of anglers stay longer than a week, 25 per cent staying two nights and a further 24% staying two or three nights
- Anglers came from Great Britain (17.5 per cent), mainland Europe (5 per cent), other overseas areas (2 per cent) and Ireland (75.5%).
- Anglers from Great Britain stay in Waterville an average of 8.2 nights during their trips and Irish anglers stay on average for 3.2 nights
- Nearly half of respondents (44%) preferred to stay in B&B accommodation with 18% choosing Self Catering and 15% staying in Hotels.
- The most popular months for angling visitors are June (57%) and September (48.7%) along with July (45.5%), August (44%) however May (40%), April (28%) and October (19%) still attract angling tourism, outside of the traditional tourism season.
- Lake fishing was the most popular (87%), 46% fished the rivers and 40% participated in shore angling
- 84% of respondents fished for sea trout, 76% for salmon and 48% for brown trout.