Donegal County Council in association with Donegal Tourism CLG and the CAPITEN project funded by the EU Atlantic Area Programme hosted its fourth Donegal Marine Tourism Conference on 23 March 2021.
This year’s event saw it moved online which allowed for speakers located not only in Donegal but as far away as France and the United States to present.
The conference explores the significant role that the sea plays in Donegal’s tourism product.
80 members of the tourism trade registered for the webinar and those in attendance heard from a number of inspiring speakers who gave them a lot of food for thought.
Dr. John Deely, from the National University of Ireland, Galway was the first to present. He explored how demand differs between day trips and overnight trips as well as a presentation of the additional value associated with time spent along the Irish coast above what has been spent.
The event was an action of the CAPITEN project funded by the EU Atlantic Area Programme. Sabina Badea, from Région Bretagne, France and the lead partner in the CAPITEN project presented on the successes of this European collaboration as it draws to a close. A particular area of interest to attendees was the innovative products that were produced by the various partners during the course of the project.
Edward Doherty who runs Amazing Grace Charter at Glengad, Malin was this year’s local business case study. Edward shared the challenges he has faced in setting up his business, including funding and LEADER support. Amazing Grace Charters first started operating in the summer of 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and also a very busy staycation season. Edward’s experiences are reflective of those experienced by everyone in the tourism and hospitality sector, not only in Donegal but across the country.
Dr Liam M. Carr, a Lecturer in Geography at NUI Galway introduced, Desiree Farrell, a Galway Doctoral Research Scholar in the Discipline of Geography at NUI Galway. Desiree presented her work in Rathmullan, where she examined how community unified by a common purpose can chart its own path forward and harness the promise of their shared vision. By exploring stakeholder views, this work will examine how the community and cultural identity of Ireland’s west coast is shaped through the lens of tourism.
Finn Ní Fhaoláin a marine scientist, an author and foodie based in Bundoran, gave practical tips to attendees on how to make their businesses more sustainable and environmentally friendly while also ensuring that it does not negatively impact on their profits.