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22/05/2014 - Donegal County Council first Council in Ireland to join FEDETON


 Maria Ferguson accepting Certificate


Donegal County Council became the first County Council in Ireland to join FEDETON (Federation of Nautical Tourism) at the recent Nautical Tourism Summit held in Brussels. The event was attended by Maria Ferguson representing Donegal County Council EU Policy and Funding Unit and Joy Harron Marine Marketing & Development Officer for Donegal Tourism Ltd.


Opportunities for Growth with European Nautical Tourism Manifesto

At the event Donegal County Council was one of the inaugural signatories to the ‘European Manifesto for Sustainable Nautical Tourism’ which details the guiding principles set out by FEDETON to ensure the positive future development of the nautical tourism sector in member regions like Donegal. Ms. Ferguson was presented with a certificate from FEDETON and was delighted to accept on behalf of Michael O’Heanaigh, Director of Services for Donegal County Council.


Commitment to Protecting Marine Natural Biodiversity in Donegal

The manifesto seeks to maximise economic growth in Nautical Tourism while at the same time preserving the natural biodiversity and heritage of coastal destinations such as Donegal. Members of FEDETON supporting the manifesto are committed to protecting coastal ecosystems and marine species with minimal waste through good economic best practice.


Positive Nautical Tourism Innovation and Development Initiatives

The goal of FEDETON is also to create local employment and to support innovation in the Nautical Tourism sector and engage with coastal communities in generating growth in the sector while working with EU policy making structures. Donegal County Council will join other European coastal destinations in bidding for EU funding during the 2014-2020 period and will seek to work closely with other coastal destinations to successfully develop and create new opportunities in the Nautical Tourism sector in Donegal.


Endorsed by Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

The summit was attended by Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and by Committee of the Regions President Ramón Luis Valcárcel, where they officially recognised the manifesto and pledged support for coordination of Nautical Tourism at a European level due to the significant expansion of this sector in recent years. Ms. Damanaki expressed her commitment to developing Nautical Tourism in Europe due to the high potential to continue to grow the sector.


A Bright Future for Nautical Tourism in Donegal

Donegal County Council has much experience in implementing very successful marine themed projects such as Sail West under INTERREG IVA and is confident that as a member of FEDETON, the future is very positive for Nautical Tourism in Donegal. Speaking after the summit, Joy Harron from Donegal Tourism Ltd stated that ‘membership of FEDETON is a very positive step for Donegal County Council. As the first to join in Ireland, this has  shown a commitment towards  sustainable nautical tourism and a strong desire to work collectively with other European coastal destinations to develop the Nautical Tourism sector in our regions and to create a network of Nautical Tourism destinations of excellent throughout Europe. This signals a new chapter in growth and development in this sector for Donegal’.


 Signatories European Manifesto for Sustainable Nautical Tourism





Created in 2009, the European Federation of Nautical Tourisme Destinations (FEDETON) is an initiative of the French and Spanish networks of Nautical Destinations now with extended membership to many other coastal regions such as Ireland. Together they cover 20 regions, 300 municipalities and over 2,500 companies along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, Channel, Northern Sea and overseas.


The model for these networks aims at improving the competitiveness and sustainability of Tourism in marine and coastal destinations and responds to the challenge arising from the fragmentation of the tourism value chain.


Each network promotes the collaboration among stakeholders at destination level in order to realise their potential as nautical destinations, develop specialised products and services, and make them available to the public in general and particularly to actual and potential tourists.


The FEDETON model is based upon:

The strength of a network: tourism and nautical actors organised in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) in each destination.

A commitment to quality standards indicating specialisation backed by a label managed by the national association.

Fostering product bundling, diversification and innovation.




The Sail West Project is a marine tourism initiative, the goal of which is to coastal and marine tourism in the partner regions of NW Ireland, Northern Ireland and Western Scotland.


The objectives of the Sail West Project are:


  • To provide a cohesive marine leisure development strategy for the North West which links the maritime counties in NW Ireland, Northern Ireland and the West coast of Scotland.


  • To provide innovation in the development of new products and services.


  • To share knowledge and best practice between partners.


  • To provide sustainable tourism 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.




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