In the course of delivering the Cool Route project since 2015, partners have undertaken a wide range of new research, to determine facts and statistics in an industry, which is rapidly growing globally.
Among the studies completed to-date are a Cruising Preferences Study, which had in excess of 500 responses from sailors in Ireland, the UK and elsewhere. The study, which is the largest of its kind undertaken, provided key information in terms of spending patterns, optimum distances daily voyages, stopover mooring and berthing preferences, as well as favorite activities ashore.
All of the foregoing studies are available on the project website www.sailcoolroute.eu/studies-reports.
A growing phenomenon has been a noticeable increase in the numbers of super-yachts and small liners visiting the Cork coast. This trend has also been witnessed in Co. Donegal, in Derry , Northern ireland, Western Scotland, The Faroe Islands and in the projects Norwegian partner region of Sogn og Fjordane.
In 2017, Cool Route Lead Partner- The CIT Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence and Project Marketing Partner- The Royal Cork Yacht Club set up a focus group of international super-yacht captains, who were very forthcoming in their advice, support for the project and above all their recommendations on actively pursuing this high spending sector for more frequent visits to the Cool Route. More information on these developments, together with the Cool Route’s new high quality Super-Yacht and Small Liner brochure is available here.
The project is firmly focused on developing new business opportunities for all kinds of coastal enterprises. A first step in the next process of developing a Route Business Plan, was to undertake an Economic Impact Assessment of the leisure Marine Sector. The Port of Cork was selected as a trial location, based on its being one of the largest sailing and leisure boating locations in the country.
Cork Institute of Technology Economists, Dr. Aisling Conway Lenihan and Dr. Helen McGuirk, have now completed their study of the annual contribution which the private leisure marine sector makes to Cork Harbour. Their finding show that annually the sector is worth €10.9 million-to a very small area of the overall Cool Route.
Cool Route Project Manager Dr. Breda Kenny, on studying the new report, commented that
“The annual economic contribution of the private leisure marine sector to the local Cork economy is a significant as a large manufacturing company employing over 200 people. The presence of the sector and the wonderful recreational resource represented by Cork Harbour, makes Cork a prime location of choice in terms of living and working in a high quality environment.”
The methodology used to measure the economic impact, has potential for direct transfer to other sailing and boating centers in Ireland and elsewhere. This may be of assistance to areas seeking tourism funding support to develop marinas and pontoons.
Approximately 40 new locations on the Cool Route have been developed in the past two years, with some notable new facilities coming onstream in Bantry Co. Cork in August 2017 click here for details.
The towns of Ballycotton and Youghal are among Co. Cork locations selected for new pontoon developments and Schull and Cobh are also campaigning for marina/pontoon facilities to be provided to support local tourism.
The Economic Impact Study of the value of leisure sailing and boating activities in Cork Harbour is available for download here