Nautical tourism, under discussion at the Galicia Atlantic Destination

· Representatives of nautical clubs and associations from all over Europe debated this Friday in Baiona on the situation and future challenges of the sector

· The participants agreed to point out the great potential of Galicia to attract visitors from the old continent and pointed out possible improvement actions

· The congress travels to the Arousa estuary tomorrow, Saturday, to take a tour of the estuary before returning to Baiona for its closing ceremony

Baiona, October 27, 2017.- The Parador Nacional de Baiona hosted this Friday the first day of the European nautical tourism congress Galicia, Atlantic Destination , in which representatives of twenty nautical clubs and associations from the old continent discuss the situation and future challenges of the sector.

In the inaugural session, which included several presentations, round tables and workshops, the attendees highlighted the improvements registered in the ports and marinas of Galicia over the last few years, and agreed to point out the great potential that the community has to attract visitors from all over Europe.

But not everything was praise, since some problems were also put on the table, mainly related to the language and air connections. The difficulties in reaching Galicia on direct flights from many of the countries of origin of possible transits and the fact that in some marinas the staff barely speak English were noted.

Other improvement actions that were presented at the congress have an impact on the need to implement complementary infrastructures and services for ports and marinas; and carry out a better dissemination of tourist proposals in order to reach the greatest number of people possible.

Europe in the spotlight

If the authorities in charge of opening the Galicia agreed on something, Atlantic Destination was the need to promote the great potential of Galicia’s nautical tourism throughout Europe, with the aim of turning it into a place of reference for sailors.

The director of Tourism of Galicia, Nava Castro, in charge of inaugurating the Galicia, Atlantic Destination , pointed to the old continent as one of the main markets with which Galicia has to work, since, as he assured, 8 out of 10 boats that navigate the Galician estuaries come from different European countries.

The president of Portos de Galicia, José Juan Durán, also influenced this idea, speaking of the loyalty of the traffic they receive from Europe as one of the objectives of his department. “Galicia – he said- has achieved that the nautical facilities receive a greater number of visitors each year, and the effort must now focus on more qualitative than quantitative aspects”.

On behalf of the Monte Real Yacht Club, which organizes the event in collaboration with Turismo de Galicia, Portos de Galicia and the Baiona city council, its president, José Luis Álvarez, intervened. In his speech he invited all the attendees to get to know the attractions of our coast, among which he highlighted the fact of having “navigable estuaries throughout the year, a strategic position for transits, and unparalleled people, culture and gastronomy”.

Mini-cruises through the estuaries and strategies for regional nautical development

The representatives of the twenty nautical clubs and associations from all over Europe that attend the Galicia, Atlantic Destination were able to learn first-hand about two of the proposals that seek to promote nautical tourism in Galicia: the mini-cruises through the estuaries and the European Ecodestin project.

The president of the Galician Association of Nautical Activities (Agan +), Manuel Soliño, was in charge of explaining the mini-cruises through the estuaries. They are a series of navigation itineraries that link various routes with sectors of tourist attraction such as culture, heritage or oenology. The offer includes six routes through the Galician estuaries by ferry-catamaran or sailboat, with tours of areas such as the Arousa estuary, the Atlantic Islands or the fishing villages of the Vigo estuary, among others.

The Ecodestín project, presented by the manager of Estratexia Plus, Antonio Monteagudo, follows the example of development of the fjords in Norway and seeks to make the territory more attractive by promoting and developing the cultural heritage linked to the estuaries, rivers and coast of the Galicia Euroregion – North of Portugal. With European funds, the ports will be able to increase their transit docking capacity, make them more accessible and reinforce them with technology.

The congress moves tomorrow to the Arousa estuary

After the opening day held this Friday at the Parador Nacional de Baiona, the Galicia, Atlantic Destination will travel to the Arousa area tomorrow for a tour of the estuary.

The visitors, from Germany, Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom, will embark at the port of Cabo de Cruz, in Boiro, to sail to the island of Sálvora, included in the Maritime-Terrestrial Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia.

The islands of Noro and Rúa, the archipelago of Guidoiro, and the islands of Areoso and Arousa will be some of the other points that will be visited on the second and last day of the congress. A tourist train route through Vilanova de Arousa and a visit to the Valle Inclán House Museum will put an end to the meeting of European nautical clubs and associations.