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Displaying items by tag: tourism

#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 Afloat.ie, 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 Afloat.ie.

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 Afloat.ie, 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.

Independent.ie 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.

Independent.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism
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#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.

TheJournal.ie 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
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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
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#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 TheJournal.ie 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

#Tourism - Ireland is lagging behind our Scottish neighbours when it comes to strategy for growing marine tourism.

That's according to Dun Laoghaire Marina, which today (Friday 20 November) tweeted on the impending announcement in Edinburgh of a five-year action plan to grow Scotland's marine tourism industry by £90 million (€128.7 million).

Connected with that are moves to boost sailing tourism by nearly 50% of its current £100 million value to the Scottish economy, as STV News reports.

"Providing authentic experiences, improving the customer journey and building industry capabilities" are the three themes identified in the Scottish plan to develop both infrastructure and facilities for coastal and waterway attractions, and events and initiatives highlighting the same.

While local strategies are being devised in Ireland, such as Galway City Council's recent six-year tourism blueprint to take advantage of the successful Wild Atlantic Way initiative, Dun Laoghaire Marina laments that there is nothing in this country comparable to Scotland's national plan, nor the Scottish Parliament's Cross-Party Group on Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism.

That's despite the focus on the marine sector and the 'blue economy' championed at this summer's second Ocean Wealth Conference.

What do you think? Does Ireland need a clearer roadmap towards making the most of our marine resources for tourism? Let us know in the comments below

Published in Aquatic Tourism
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