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Cool Route Project Meeting Held in Glasgow

Cool Route Project Meeting Held in Glasgow

Partners of the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme-funded Cool Route project, including lead partner Cork Institute of Technology, held a two-day meeting on 21st – 22nd April hosted by the Moffatt Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.

The project partners were welcomed by Professor John Lennon, Director of the Moffatt Centre and Assistant Vice Principal of Business Development at Glasgow Caledonian University. Dr Breda Kenny presented an update on the work of Cork Institute of Technology on general management of the project; work on the business plan and on the results to date from the sailing preferences survey that was completed in March. The results of this survey are currently under analysis and a final report will be made published this summer and provides a useful insight into the potential of the sailing sector in all regions.

A representative from Donegal County Council then provided an overview of the ongoing work in communications and dissemination of project information, with particular emphasis on the utilisation of digital marketing channels to raise awareness of the NPA Cool Route project. Detailed discussions took place regarding the project logistics plans and in particular the gap analysis study that is ongoing at Glasgow Caledonian University.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club, Cork, presented the work to date on the Cool Route Marketing Plan, the final version to be released in June 2017. Derry City and Strabane District Council led discussions on the IT element of the project with the development of the Cool Route online booking system a key topic on the agenda. Blue Sea Marinas concluded day 1 discussions with a presentation on the realisation and commercialisation of the route. Partners from Norway and Faroe Islands also provided important updates from their regions.

On day two, key stakeholders in the sailing and marine leisure sector were invited to join the Cool Route partners and engage in discussion, feedback and insights on the project. Daniel Steele from Sail Scotland was delighted to attend and to present the findings of Scotland’s Marine Tourism Survey and to enlighten partners on the many excellent marketing campaigns that Sail Scotland has deployed to promote the sector worldwide. Joy Harron from Donegal Tourism Ltd was also in attendance and presented on the marketing work carried out as part of the Sail West, MalinWaters project. Joe McPhee, Head of Economic Development, Comhairle nana Eilean Siar, delivered an interesting overview on the tourism sector in the Outer Hebrides.

Dr Breda Kenny, Head of the Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence, CIT, said: “Ongoing stakeholder engagement across the route is key to exploiting the economic potential of the Cool Route project. The focus is on bringing new business opportunities to a wide range of industries, ranging from operators of port facilities to local boatyards, cafes and restaurants, outdoor activity, heritage cultural and other visitor attractions throughout the Cool Route.”

Partners in the Cool Route Project include Cork Institute of Technology (Lead partner and Business Planning), Donegal County Council (Project Publicity and Dissemination), Glasgow Caledonian University (Route Logistics and Planning), The Royal Cork Yacht Club (Cool Route Marketing Plan), Derry City Council (Common Booking System), Torshavn Port Authority (Expert inputs safety) Blue Sea Marinas (Expert inputs design, realisation and commercialisation planning), Western Norway Research Institute (Rural Tourism Development). The Cool Route project also has a number of Associate Partners in all regions. The next meeting is due to take place in Derry in October 2016.

For more information contact – donegalmarinetourism@gmail.com

Visit www.sailcoolroute.eu for more details on the project.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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