Promoting cultural and natural heritage
through coastal navigation

Marine tourism goes hand in hand with the discovery of the natural and cultural heritage of coastal and river territories.

By structuring and thematising historic and cultural coastal navigation routes, sailing areas – and particularly those in backwaters – will benefit from a raised profile and increased use. This will also allow discovery of the heritage sites on the Atlantic Arc sea front.

Landscape of Madeira island

Creating a coastal navigation circuit
along the Atlantic coast

Various sailing areas in partner territories will be studied in order to offer a range of new short coastal navigation routes at local and regional scale.

Dotted with stops, these routes will combine the pleasure of sailing and discovering heritage via the sea, estuaries and canals with the enjoyment of visits to tourist sites.

Coastal navigation in all its forms

These routes will also be adapted to allow adventuring via various marine craft, making it possible to reach new customers and interest new tour operators in a new product line. While sailing will remain the primary option, the Galician Association of Nautical Activities, which leads this operational part of the project, will carry out a thought process with all partners on how to develop routes for lighter craft.

Large coastal navigation circuits will also be developed, based on historic routes used by ancient cargo fleets or those of the great Atlantic regattas.

The Galician Association of Nautical Activities Discover their website

Distribution of navigation tools

The coastal navigation routes identified and tested will then be listed on tools allowing solo sailing or in flotilla on various craft.

Workshops will be offered to professional tourism operators from the various countries involved, with the aim of gauging commercial interest

in these routes and offering a range of products that are representative of the natural and cultural heritage of the Atlantic Arc. A marketing strategy will also be devised to promote the coastal navigation network as a whole

Diversifying the range of services on offer in marinas

The digital transition is transforming consumption and organisation practices. The property economy is gradually moving towards a collaborative economy that favours use by a multitude of sectors.

This also goes for marinas. In this new era, they are seeing an emerging base of users who are less experienced and more demanding. This offers an opportunity to capture new market shares at a time when the ageing fleet is struggling to renew itself.

In addition to this, for the economy linked to tourist activity, the marinas are real gateways to the territories. The conditions of welcome at marinas and the services offered to the boaters that use them can influence their consumer choices and their experience of the destinations visited.

Sailing the Atlantic coast © Ronan Gladu

A diagnosis of the marinas
and anchorage areas of the Atlantic Arc

What existing infrastructure is there? Services and activities reserved for boaters? How do marinas compare in Portugal and Scotland? What communication tools have been deployed by these tourist welcome points?

These questions will be answered through a diagnosis led by the University of Highlands and Islands, to be carried out on hundreds of sea and river marinas on the Atlantic coast, covering sailing areas used by a variety of craft and visitors.

University of the Highlands and Islands.
Discover their website

What next?

This data will make it possible to map a large part of the Atlantic seaboard, in terms of existing services, activities and events.

Then, based on the findings of the study, the partners will carry out a joint thought process on the possible avenues for development.

Some of these will make it possible to work more closely with marinas at territory level, while others will allow them to contemplate joint tools that may be deployed to support sustainable economic growth.