Positive news on the tourism front with Fáilte Ireland planning to revitalise cruise tourism in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, has been welcomed by Denis Naughten TD.
“Building on the recent interest shown by domestic visitors in hiring cruisers on the River Shannon, Fáilte Ireland has initiated a study to examine how the sector can be developed and revitalised within Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands region over the next ten years,” stated Denis Naughten.
“The Shannon cruise hire business went from 530 boats in the rental fleet in the early 1980s to 224 in 2018. There is, therefore, a need to address how the fleet can be renewed and modernised to revitalise and expand this unique Shannon experience.
“In particular, the study will investigate the economic, technical and environmental feasibility of the renewal, revitalisation, and greening of the cruise hire fleet in Ireland to 2032 along the Shannon and Shannon-Erne waterways.
“It is intended to provide recommendations on new cruise hire base locations and berthing along the Shannon Navigation and Shannon Erne Waterway to enable the sector to grow over the next ten years.
“The final report will also explore opportunities for further diversification of the sector, including identifying new domestic and international market opportunities and approaches to drive revenue growth, particularly during the off-season. It will also explore options for operators to develop new product offerings, such as ecotourism and day boat hire.
“The study is delivering on an action contained in the Shannon Tourism Masterplan 2020-2030, which was published last year by Fáilte Ireland and Waterways Ireland in partnership with ten local authorities along the Shannon,” concluded Denis Naughten.
This week Fáilte Ireland has published an invitation to tender seeking applicants to carry out the study. The tender is available on E-Tenders.gov.ie and applications will close at 12 noon, on 23 September 2022. The full tender document can be accessed here.