THE rugged coastline of Mid and East Antrim is renowned for its stunning beauty, with this section of the Causeway Coastal Route fast becoming a destination of choice – and now local residents and business people are being urged to help shape a new initiative to promote the area’s blossoming tourism potential.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council wants to hear from businesses from Carnlough to Carrickfergus – and everywhere in between – about the perceived strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of marine and inland waterway tourism in their area – and crucially, what can be done to encourage more people to ‘Get On The Water’.
Boasting the Five Gold Anchor standard Carrickfergus Marina along its shoreline, and the historic coastal village of Glenarm further north, Mid and East Antrim has plenty of choice for visitors keen to explore the waterways that surround this part of Northern Ireland.
The nautical industry is worth €8.9 Billion and employs 85,000 people across the Atlantic Area region, so the potential for local marine and waterway tourism is vast.
The Council is involved in a number of initiatives aimed at promoting water-based tourism pursuits, including Malin Waters, which is made up of partners from Scotland and the Republic of Ireland; and most recently the EU funded El CAPITEN project.
The El CAPITEN initiative encompasses partners across the UK, Ireland, Spain, France and the Canary Islands, and is focused on the promotion of activities including sailing, canoeing, paddle boarding and windsurfing, as ideal ways to explore our coastline and major rivers.
Through the project the Council has organised a number of events and is planning to facilitate pilot schemes, in partnership with private sector businesses, to help stimulate the economic development and sustainability of coastal and inland waterway villages.
These opportunities will be marketed in the near future, seeking ‘Expressions of Interest’ from those who would like to work in conjunction with the Council to pilot new tourism offerings for the 2020 season.
As part of the El CAPITEN project, the Council is keen to hear from locals and businesses in thearea so that they can better understand and support the development of products and facilities which will help maximise the potential of marine and waterways tourism.
You can help the Council to achieve that by responding to our survey, which provides a valuable opportunity to help inform future initiatives by the Council and its partners, and to further support this important aspect of tourism development in the area.
The survey can be accessed by visiting: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/capitenbus, and will be open for completion until 31 December 2019.
Should you have any questions on the survey, or any other aspect of the El CAPITEN project, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.