Regeneration: an Opportunity for the Development of Marine Leisure - an international conference hosted in Dublin today by the Marine Institute highlights the opportunity to regenerate ports and harbours as part of Ireland's €631 million marine tourism industry. Global marine tourism was valued at €168bn in 2004. The event is organised through MAYA, an EU Interreg project, representing 15 European partners, from the Netherlands, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium and France, all of whom are involved in marine leisure boating sector.
The conference, attended by international waterfront designers and planners as well as the heads of marine industry associations from around the world, will highlight success stories including the regeneration of Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco and developments in downtown Singapore. The successful regeneration of small-scale fishing ports into marketable tourist attractions will also be discussed. Delegates will visit successful Irish marine leisure development models at Dun Laoghaire Marina, Dublin City Docklands and Howth Marina.
"The business of ports and harbours are subject to constant change," said Anne Wilkinson, Marine Leisure and Tourism Manager at the Marine Institute. "Trends in commercial trading shift geographically, technical advances in the design of vessels and port handling facilities call for constant change and fishing practices follow the fortunes of individual stocks. Given the growing demand, the integration of marine leisure facilities into ports and harbours presents an exciting opportunity to maximise the potential of our ports and harbour assets."
Marcello Conti, the architect who masterminded the regeneration of the port of Genoa, Italy, will explain that while existing quays, piers and harbours are not always suitable for recreational boating and water sports, their adaptation is almost always possible and usually more economically viable that building on a green field site.
Dan Natchez, a leading international waterfront designer from the US, will explain how adding boating and docking access for residential properties can increase the value of residential units from 25% to 200%. He will also stress the importance of incorporating the goals and objectives of the local community and the need to understand the target market as well as the challenges and opportunities presented by a particular site or development.