The Cool Route Project investigates all aspects of the potential to establish a yacht cruising route along the western offshore areas of the Northern Periphery Area, stretching from Co. Cork in the South of Ireland, to the UK (Northern Ireland and Western Scotland) and onwards to the Faroe Islands and Norway was delighted to be part of Ireland’s national maritime festival SeaFest which attracted an incredible 101,113 visitors to Galway Harbour during the three day event, from the 30th June to the 2nd July, generating €6.3 million for the city.
The figures, just released by SeaFest, show a phenomenal 68% growth in attendance in just one year. Last year SeaFest saw 60,000 visitors attend the festival in Galway, and in 2015, its inaugural year, it netted 10,000 visitors.
Dr John Killeen, Chairman of the Marine Institute commented on SeaFest website, “Our Ocean Wealth Summit and SeaFest 2017 have both exceeded our expectations in terms of attendance and also for creating public awareness of the immense marine resources which are abundant around the island of Ireland. We are now, as a country, beginning to become more aware of the potential wealth that can be generated by our seas. SeaFest offers a platform to engage the public in the importance of our seas and the contribution to our local and national economy.”
Figures released by SEMRU at Our Ocean Wealth Summit, held as part of SeaFest on Friday 30 June, show that Ireland’s ‘blue economy’ is performing better than the general economy. The figures indicate that the direct economic value of Ireland’s ocean economy was €1.8 billion or approximately 0.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, which represents a 20% increase on 2014 levels.
Galway Harbour was transformed into a giant interactive ‘sea world’ for the three day festival and the waterfront was awash with non-stop activities and entertainment for those of all ages. All the events taking place during SeaFest were all free for festival-goers. Crowds got to enjoy thrilling performances and breath-taking aerial acrobatics in the heart of the harbour from World’s Ladies Flyboard champion Kristen Smoyer and New Zealand’s Beau Weston. Free sailing and kayaking was on offer and the Irish Sailing Association also offered disabled access for budding sailors over the weekend. There were open tours available on a number of vessels in the ship filled harbour including the tall ship The Phoenix, the Irish naval vessel LÉ Ciara, the Commissioners of Irish Lights Granuaile and the Marine Institute’s research vessel the RV Celtic Explorer.
The huge display from the Defence Forces was popular with the young and young at heart. BIM and Bord Bia’s Seafood Experience featured live cookery and fishmongery demonstrations, as well as interactive exhibits and displays of live fish and shellfish species. Marine-inspired entrepreneurs based in the West of Ireland shared their stories in the LookWest.ie Marquee. Cool Route partners Donegal County Council were also there promoting Donegal Tourism and Go Visit Donegal and our associate partners, the Irish Sailing Association were giving free taster sessions all weekend.
SeaFest returns to Galway June 29th to July 1st 2018
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