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Displaying items by tag: tourism

#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
Tagged under

#Tourism - Galway's status as the only city on the Wild Atlantic Way is at the centre of a new six-year tourism blueprint for the City of the Tribes.

As the Connacht Tribune reports, the Tourism Sustainability Strategy 2015-2021 – developed from search commissioned by Galway City and County Councils – recommends that a 'master brand' be created to capitalise on the city's unique position in the West of Ireland.

Plans include developing and marketing Galway as a transport and accommodation hub for the Wild Atlantic Way, as well as creating new spin-off cultural and heritage trails, and extending the tourist season with the likes of new city-based festivals.

The Connect Tribune has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#WildAtlanticWay - Popular travel YouTube duo the Vagabrothers have been posting clips from their current trip along Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way - including a "super relaxing" kayaking adventure off West Cork.

As TheCork.ie reports, Californian brothers and self-professed vagabonds Marko and Alex Ayling paddled in the company of Atlantic Sea Kayaking's Jim and Maria Kennedy as part of their extensive tour of the country at the invitation of Tourism Ireland.

Once back on shore, the Aylings were treated to a surprising seaweed lunch at the Union Hall café run by the Kennedy's own daughter.

The video above is just one of a series that's taken the brothers surfing in Strandhill, cliff-jumping in the Aran Islands and tucking into an oyster feast in Co Galway.

And it comes as Lonely Planet recommends the Wild Atlantic Way as the world's best offbeat coastal road trip, according to Galway Bay FM.

The whole of the Vagabrothers' Irish adventure so far can be found on YouTube HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#GalwayBay - A new mackerel-themed maritime festival has been proposed for Galway Bay this autumn – as the latest industry figures show tourism in the region is heavily concentrated in the summer months.

The Connacht Tribune reports on the 'Mackerel Festival' idea suggested at a Galway Chamber meeting last week as a way to rejuvenate Salthill.

Along the lines of the recent Dublin Bay Prawn Festival, the event would liven up the seaside suburb's renowned Promenade with a celebration of its local mackerel catch, which brings in big numbers each September.

The event was one of a number of ideas, including reopening Salthill's tourist office, put forward at the meeting last Tuesday (21 April) that agreed to form a committee to advance the most promising plans.

And the news comes as the latest figures from Fáilte Ireland show that a third of all visitors to Galway in 2014 were 'shoehorned' into the two high summer months.

According to the Connacht Tribune, a combined total of 33% of Galway visitors arrived in July and August last year.

June and September are the next busiest months with 24% of all visits between them, as opposed to just 3% in January – underlining the highly seasonal nature of the region's tourism industry.

The figures were released as part of a public consultation on the Wild Atlantic Way and the initiative's effects on the coastal environment.

Published in Galway Harbour

#CorkHarbour - Five years after Spike Island was first opened as a tourist attraction, plans are in the making for a new interpretive centre on the site that could be ready by next summer.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the €2.5 million Fáilte Ireland-funded project for the former prison island in Cork Harbour could see ground broken as soon as September ahead of ribbon cutting in time for the 2016 summer tourism season.

According to county engineer David Keane, Block B of the old prison building will be refurbished for the visitor centre, which will house an exhibition on the history of the island as well as military memorabilia.

It's hoped that the plans will attract up to 300,000 visitors to Cork Harbour annually, and create some 190 jobs.

The Irish Examiner has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour

#Tourism - Coastal attractions made up the bulk of the winners at Wednesday night's Irish Responsible Tourism Awards, as Business & Leadership reports.

And Jim Kennedy's Atlantic Sea Kayaking – which took the gold medal for Best Adventure Activity Provider for Responsible Tourism – also took the overall award at the inaugural ceremony hosted at Dublin's Radisson Blu Royal Hotel.

Elsewhere, golds went to the Co Clare's Loop Head Peninsula in Co Clare (for Best Destination for Responsible Tourism) and Dolphin Watch (for Best in a Marine or Coastal Environment).

Completing the trifecta for the Banner County, the Hotel Doolin won gold in the Best Small Hotel or Accommodation for Responsible Tourism category.

Meanwhile, Connemara Wild Escapes - which promotes various activities from walking to angling – was named Best Tour Operator for Responsible Tourism.

Business & Leadership has more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism
Tagged under

#IslandNews - A glass-floored viewing platform jutting out over the Atlantic Ocean on Achill Island has got officials excited about its potential to attract tourism.

But locals are concerned that the project could mar the area's special views with an eyesore.

As the Mayo News reported last month, funding has been secured to develop the so-called 'Signature Discovery Point' at Keem Beach on Ireland's largest coastal island.

Keem Beach is one of 35 locations along the Wild Atlantic Way in Co Mayo that will share in the €257 million funding pot.

And the ambitious plans for the area – that also features as part of the new Galway-Mayo Blueway – include a viewing platform over the waves and rocky shore near the old coastguard station, along the lines of the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

But the reaction among the Achill community has been mixed, with support for the initiative by development company Comhlacht Forbartha Áitiúil Acla tempered by comments from local sculptor Ronan Halpin, who expressed concerns over the "visual intrusion" and "sustainability" of such a unique engineering project.

“Keem Bay is one the most beautiful and unspoilt places in our country. Its isolation and seclusion are a major part of its inherent charm," he added. "The proposal to build a glass walkway at the top of Moiteóg would seem to fly in the face of all this natural beauty and majesty."

The Mayo News has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News

#CoastalNotes - Coastal spots and waterways feature heavily in HeraldScotland's list of the most picturesque destinations to visit in Ireland.

Some of these will be well known to locals and tourists alike, such as the wonders of Antrim's coast and glens (not least the Giant's Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge), the majestic Ring of Kerry and the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher.

But some perhaps lesser-known spots getting their due here include the Cavan lake country – with one to explore by kayak for every day of the year – and the Cooley Peninsula in Co Louth.

HeraldScotland has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#aquatictourism – The British Marine Federation is launching a Marine Tourism Strategy in March at the Scottish Tourism Week National Conference. Over 500 decision makers and key players in the tourism industry will be attending the event.

By 2020, the BMF say they want Scotland to be: "A marine tourism destination of first choice for high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience delivered by skilled and passionate people."

The Marine Tourism Strategy is an initiative led by a working group of industry leaders and user groups together with public agencies and enterprise bodies to focus on the sustainable growth of Scotland's marine leisure sector. 'With your help we can build the economic benefits of marine tourism for Scotland as a whole, and for all of our individual businesses, teams, employees and families' says BMF. 

Scotland's marine environment is one of its crown jewels and encompasses some of the world's most beautiful and varied boating waters. Whether visitors seek adventure, wildlife, family boating experiences, day or extended visits, coastal, offshore or inland waters, Scotland's marine offer is complete, varied and of the highest standard.

 

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#Beaches - And the title of Ireland's best beach goes to... Inchydoney in West Cork, as TheJournal.ie reports.

This marks the second year in a row that the Clonakilty strand took the top spot in TripAdvisor's annual ranking of Ireland's beaches, as chosen by visitors and tourists giving their ratings on the site.

It couldn't come at a better time for Inchydoney, as next month signals the start of the best period of the year to make the most of its peaceful atmosphere.

Elsewhere on the top ten list, Kerry places the most with four beaches making the grade - including Derrynane and Inch at numbers two and three respectively.

But the east coast also gets a look-in, with Curracloe in Wexford placing sixth, and Portmarnock in North Co Dublin rounding out the list at number 10.

TheJournal.ie has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
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