Over 6000 visitors expected with £500k generated for local economy

Northern Ireland’s first ever International Water Sports Expo has been announced today to be held at the EIKON exhibition centre on the 4th and 5th of March 2023.

Ireland on the Water Expo is set to attract up to six thousand visitors over two action packed days demonstrating the scale of the marine sector. From Boating, Angling, Kayaking, Sailing, Surfing and Open Water Swimming, to Scuba Diving and Water Adventure Parks, the show promises to celebrate everything that is great about being out on the water, throughout the island of Ireland.

Hugh Bonner, Chief Executive of Mara Media, the event organiser, explained that due to Covid restrictions the event had to be postponed from this year, but already the interest from exhibitors and visitors for next year has been phenomenal.

“Ireland on the Water Expo will be an event for the entire family to enjoy together. Exhibitors will include Flood Marine, McAlinden Boats, Swim Ireland, Royal Yacht Association to name but a few, and it will be packed full of activities from fun and interactive workshops, to on the water demonstrations and experiences.

“We’ve hosted successful events for over 10 years now, including the Ireland Angling Show in Dublin, so we honestly believe that the increasing passion and interest in marine leisure over recent years calls for a bigger and better show.

“For those interested in perfecting their techniques or learning about new products, the show will feature talks from a range of experts in all areas of the marine leisure sector, while also giving guests the opportunity to chat to professionals and visit our exhibitor stands.

“We are also delighted to have the support of Lisburn Castlereagh City Council who recognise the enormous potential of Northern Ireland in providing these kinds of homegrown holiday activities.

“This is a very lucrative market for everyone in the wider tourism industry and from this exhibition alone we estimate that around £500,000 will go into the local economy. Northern Ireland has so much to offer with quality accommodation and catering, superb activity facilities and of course unparalleled access to water be it lakes, rivers or coast, said Hugh.”

Officiating at the event launch and welcoming it to the city, Alderman Amanda Grehan, Chair of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Development Committee, said that this is exactly the kind of event to show off the versatility of their tourism offering.

“EIKON Exhibition Centre which is conveniently located beside the main arterial routes to Belfast and Dublin is now a significant centre for International events being held in Ireland and the United Kingdom. It will draw in thousands of visitors and millions of pounds in consumer spend and sectoral investment.

“Supporting events like this is a core part of our economic strategy for the council area demonstrating that we are also a critical economic generator benefiting the whole of Northern Ireland.

“The countdown has now started, and I look forward to visiting Ireland on the Water Expo next year.  It will be a true partnership across the marine, tourism, accommodation and hospitality sectors,” said Alderman Grehan.

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