While the MOSES project looks at selected sites for their marine tourism case study on the Wild Atlantic Way, the lead partner, SEMRU at NUI Galway, has also been examining the value of domestic coastal and marine tourism across the whole of Ireland. To generate information on domestic coastal and marine tourism in Ireland SEMRU carried out a household survey of residents in 2019. As well as expenditure patterns the survey also examined participation rates amongst domestic residents in a variety of marine activities and where Irish residents went for overnight coastal visits in the reference year 2018. The survey consisted of face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of over a 1000 households. Total expenditure by domestic tourists in coastal areas was estimated to be €698 million in 2018, which represents 35% of the total expenditure by domestic tourists that year. The marine related activity expenditure on overnight trips, or what might truly be referred to as domestic marine tourism, is estimated to have generated revenue of €381 million with €172 million of this being spent on water-based activities.
Dr Stephen Hynes, co-author of the report and Principle Investigator on the MOSES project, noted that “while the results presented in this report are from a time that precedes the current Covid 19 crisis they nevertheless highlight the economic contribution that domestic marine tourism and leisure activity makes under normal circumstances to coastal regions, particularly those regions outside the capital.” He also pointed out “The MOSES project is building on this research by examining how the development of marine tourism initiatives such the Wild Atlantic Way along the west coast of Ireland is impacting local coastal communities and visitors, and also by examining how such marine tourism trails can be developed sustainably.”
The full report can be downloaded at www.nuigalway.ie/semru/.