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Malin Waters 


The emergence of the MalinWaters consumer facing brand in the summer of 2010 was a major milestone in the development and implementation of the EU INTERREG funded Sail West project.  MalinWaters covers the shared maritime waters of North West Ireland including counties Donegal & Sligo, the maritime counties of Northern Ireland and Western Scotland. This region boasts fantastic opportunities for sailing, surfing, diving, kayaking as well as other water based activities. Visit for more information.



The overall objectives of the Sail West Project are:


  • To provide a cohesive marine leisure development strategy for the North West, which links Donegal to the maritime regions of Northern Ireland and the West coast of Scotland.
  • To provide innovation in the development of new marine tourism products and services.
  • To share knowledge and best practice between partners.
  • To provide sustainable development, job growth and the rejuvenation of maritime communities.
  • To ensure that environmental best practice and the possible effects of global climate change is considered within all new developments.
  • To encourage eco tourism.

The Wildsea Atlantic Ocean Heritage Route: A Dive into Adventure

Donegal County Council is delighted to join the WAOH Route Project Partnership.

The “WAOH! Route” is the first, European, Sustainable Diving Route connecting world-class diving sites from the extreme south in Portugal & Spain to the far north, encompassing Ireland & UK, which embody common European shared values & heritage. The Route will promote Europe’s 5000 km of Atlantic coastline as a unique, transnational tourism itinerary and destination for divers & eco-tourists alike. Through the Project, tourism destinations and experience providers will gain access to collaborative marketing tools and capacity building to enhance their market visibility and sustainability performance. The project is a joint initiative of European tourism operators, public administrations and NGOs, co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) of the European Union through the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME).

The European Union is investing €375.000 in a new initiative designed to develop a Sustainable Diving Route connecting “flagship” diving sites & ecotourism destinationsalongEurope’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, encompassing Ireland and the UK. Building on the experience and results of Project “Wildsea Europe” (, the WAOH Route will connect world-class “flagshipdiving 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 – withover 25 millionusers worldwide) with upcoming marine eco-tourism opportunities (such as notably the €2 billion, global whale watching industry). It will notably 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.

The Project will run from January 1st, 2018 to December 30th, 2019 and is a joint initiative of Partners from 4 European countries (Spain, UK, Ireland & Portugal):

With the financial support of the European Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises (EASME) of the European Commission (EU), the “WAOH!” Route will target the following, specific objectives:

  • Raising awareness of Europe as a sustainable, high quality destination by highlighting and connecting world-class, Atlantic diving sites, destinations and their associated natural & cultural heritage through development of a Route. The Route will cover 10 Atlantic diving destinations from 4 different countries at its inception, creating a shared identity based on a common theme - Europe’s unique, Atlantic marine & underwater habitats, vivid marine wildlife and maritime heritage – and a common brand (the “WILDSEA WAOH” brand).
  • Developing at least 2 new, transnational tourism products based on the mapping of the available product offer and competitive advantages of each of the Route’s destinations.
  • Ensuring the commercial uptake, success and long-term sustainability of the Route and its associated products and experiences, by developing a 3-year Strategy & Marketing Plan produced through wide stakeholder consultation and producing effective promotional materials and tools for wide dissemination and outreach.
  • Building capacity amongst key destination management organizations and tourism SMEs in support of sustainable nautical water sports and ecotourism, delivering them criteria, guidelines and tools, respectively, to:
  1. Foster, monitor and manage a sustainable, responsible tourism activity at destination.
  2. Enhance “Ocean literacy” and skills to apply best environmental practice in diving, snorkelling, kayaking and whale watching activities.

The “Wildsea Atlantic Ocean Heritage” Route will tap into a global market of 6 million divers, 20 million snorkel and kayak practitioners and the €2 billion whale watching industry to develop a new tourism scenario that will create new, more sustainable dynamics in mature “sun & beach” destinations and inspire a new model for emerging coastal destinations. It will create new, commercial and cross-marketing opportunities for local, water sport tourism companies and marine ecotourism operators, empowering local entrepreneurs and communities to sustain local wealth and employment, while celebrating and preserving Europe’s natural & cultural heritage

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