THE potential of Cork harbours in coastal towns and villages to benefit from visiting superyachts is highlighted in the new marketing strategy of the Cool Route project.
The project aims to strengthen the market reach of small and medium companies in local communities and investigates the logistics and business potential of yacht-cruising along western offshore areas on the Northern Periphery. This includes Cork, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Faroe Islands and Norway.
The route saw an increase in traffic last summer and CIT and the Royal Cork Yacht Club have been instrumental in promoting the suitability of the micro-subtropical climates in parts of Cork and Kerry, as well as the benefits of the coastline for visiting yachts in terms of scenery, security and large urban areas.
A new glossy brochure has been produced to make superyacht owners aware of the benefits of the route. The project is based in Bishopstown at the Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence.
Gavin Deane, general manager at The Royal Cork Yacht Club, said "The Cool Route is not about sailing from Cork to Norway, but enjoying all of the cruising grounds along the route. UK boats may likely just come to the south coast of Ireland for a week, or Northern Ireland and Scottish boats may make reciprocal trips.
"The project is firmly focused on bringing new marine-borne business to local enterprises and it does not make a difference if the visiting boat originated its voyage 10 miles or 100 miles from its destination. The important aspect is that a visiting craft can bring business to local harbours>"
Dr Breda Kenny, head of the Hincks Centre at CIT, who is leading the project added, "The strategy involves action by the main beneficiaries. This may involve organising weekend events at ports, perhaps including a barbeque or music and entertainment.
"Twenty visiting boats can bring between 60 to 100 visitors, the presence of boats in your harbour will bring as many day visitors and this combined effect can have significant economic benefits for local shops, cafes, restaurants and museums."
The brochure is available to view at www.sailcoolroute.eu/superyachts.