The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, through the European Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises (EASME) of the European Commission (EU), is investing €375.000 in this new initiative, designed to develop a Sustainable Diving Route connecting “flagship” diving sites & ecotourism destinations along Europe’s Atlantic coastline.
The Wildsea Atlantic Ocean Heritage Route (“WAOH! Route”) is the first, European, sustainable diving route connecting world-class diving sites from the extreme south in Portugal and Spain, to the far north in Ireland and the UK. Building on the experience and results of project “Wildsea Europe”, the WAOH Route will connect “flagship” diving sites and destinations that will encourage, create and unite synergy between water sports and Europe’s unique, Atlantic marine heritage of landscapes, wildlife and habitats, in combination with a range of maritime cultural heritage.
The Route will seek to enhance synergy of nautical sports (diving & snorkelling and kayaking – with over 25 million users worldwide) with upcoming marine eco-tourism opportunities (such as notably the €2 billion, global whale watching industry). It will promote synergy with Europe’s renowned maritime archaeology, museums, underwater tourism and gastronomy at the seaside, leading to an innovative offer of new, transnational tourism products.
SUBMON’s role in this project, in close collaboration with the World Cetacean Alliance, is defining the sustainability requirements for participating tourism operators and activities, as well as developing training materials and carrying out capacity building sessions in all partner destinations, both for destination managers and for tourism operators.
The project begins on January 1st, 2018 and runs for 2 years. It is lead by Travelecoology, and includes partners from 4 European countries (Spain, UK, Ireland & Portugal):
- Travelecoology (Project Coordinator, ES)
- Donegal County Council (IE)
- Forum Oceano (PT)
- Turismo de Galicia (ES)
- Visit Cornwall (UK)
- SUBMON (ES)
- World Cetacean Alliance (UK)