Angler tourists to Waterville, Co. Kerry spend on average €644 during their stay, according to research published this week by the Inland Fisheries Ireland and the ESRI.
The research, which was carried out with the Waterville Lakes and River Trust, highlights the significant recreational and economic value of the fisheries resource to the area.
The Waterville Angler Survey found that on average angling visitors to Waterville spend €644 per fishing trip or €114 per day. The impact of this expenditure is far reaching across the local community with €451 spent on non-angling items such as accommodation, restaurants and groceries and €193 of angling expenditure on items such as angling guides, boat hire and equipment.
The daily spend of anglers in Waterville (€114) far exceeds the spending of non-angling visitors to Ireland. Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Facts Report 2015 cites expenditure of non-angling visitors and holiday makers at €68 and €89 per person per day in 2015.
Angling visitors also show huge loyalty to Waterville which is a renowned fishing destination for domestic and overseas anglers. Of those surveyed, 40 per cent have visited the area more than 20 times with 60 per cent visiting 10 times or more, an extremely high return rate in tourism terms.
Anglers tend to spend a few days in the area with almost a quarter (24 per cent) staying longer than a week, 25 per cent staying two nights and a further 24 per cent staying two or three nights. An incredible 99.5 per cent of those surveyed said they would like to return to Waterville again.
Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “Waterville is one of Ireland’s many precious fishing locations. Ireland is known for its indigenous wild fish populations and beautiful scenery which make it a top angling destination. This research in the Waterville area confirms that angling is bringing huge economic value to this rural community.”