The WAOH Route

Europe’s marine ecosystems and coastal landscapes are one-of-a-kind. Both the marine wildlife and the maritime heritage deserve to be made known and protected.

The “Wildsea Atlantic Ocean Heritage Route” was launched in 2018 to a global market with over 6 million divers, 20 million snorkelers and kayakers and a whale-watching industry valued at 2 billion euros. To develop a fresh tourist scenario, new sustainable dynamics were created at “beach and sun” destinations. It is hoped that this project will be a source of inspiration to create and develop a new, more sustainable tourism model at up-and-coming coastal destinations.

How?

The “WAOH Route: A Dive into Adventure” project’s main goal is to develop the first European Sustainable Diving Route. We play an active role in this project to foster sustainable coastal tourism. This will be the first network to connect diving sites (from the southern tip of Portugal and Spain to the northern tip, encompassing Ireland and the United Kingdom), a representation of shared European and maritime heritage values.

The route promotes the 5,000 km of nautical and Atlantic coast in Europe as a unique transnational tourist route, both for divers and for eco-tourists. It also improves the synergy of nautical sports, such as diving, snorkeling and kayaking with marine eco-tourism opportunities (the whale-watching industry, and more), renowned European maritime archaeology, museums and cuisine. This fusion will lead to an innovative range of transnational tourist products on offer.

The project is a joint initiative with partners from 4 European countries (Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland and Portugal):

  • Travelecoology (Project Coordinator, ES)
  • Donegal County Council (IE)
  • Forum Oceano (PT)
  • Turismo de Galicia (Tourism of Galicia) (ES)
  • Visit Cornwall (UK)
  • SUBMON (ES)
  • World Cetacean Alliance (UK)

This project has the financial support from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), and through the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) and the European Commission (EU).