Ferry Return Smashes 2010 Figures

Swansea Bay Tourism Press Release 06.12.2010 

OVER 80,000 passengers have travelled aboard the ferry between Swansea and Cork since it took to the water again earlier this year- about four times the capacity of the Liberty Stadium.

Figures show ferry operator Fastnet Line has smashed its target for 2010 and that 31,000 vehicles have been transported across the Irish Sea along the route since the start of March.

The statistics also suggest a significant boost for the Swansea Bay economy with about 40% of all passengers so far travelling out of Cork and into Swansea.

Expert figures show many more visitors came to Swansea Bay from January to June this year than the same period in 2009 and that also they spent much more money.

Statistics measured by STEAM (The Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Model) show a five per cent rise in the number of people who came to Swansea and a four per cent rise in how much they spent. The number of visitors to Swansea rose from 1.66 million to 1.74 million and the total expenditure rose from £120.1 million to £124.4 million.

A tourism information office on board the MV Julia also contains a wealth of information about Swansea Bay and Wales and Swansea Council's tourism team has visited the Cork area to promote Swansea Bay to the Irish marketplace.

Fastnet Line will run all-year-round in 2011 and has set a revised target of 120,000 passengers.

Cllr Graham Thomas, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, said: "We were confident that the re-introduction of the ferry between Swansea and Cork would be a success and these figures show our confidence was justified.

"A real effort to attract more and more people from the Cork area is ongoing and we hope to see far more Irish visitors to Swansea Bay over the next 12 months and beyond as a result of our joint marketing activity with our public and private sector partners. The ferry has become a major marketing partner with us for 2011 and we look forward to building on the achievements so far.

"We're also working very closely with Associated of British Ports and significant improvements to the ferry terminal, information provision and signage have made the sense of arrival a more noticeable one."

Mike Wood, general manager (UK) for Fastnet Line, said: “These figures are way ahead of what we anticipated for year one which shows that there was a real need for the service to be reinstated. We are delighted to see more people coming to Wales from Cork and will be running ongoing marketing campaigns to maintain those levels in the future.”

The ferry between Swansea and Cork ceased in 2006 but its re-introduction in March this year has made Swansea Bay more accessible to the important markets of southern Ireland.

The MV Julia, which had been sailing in the Baltic, is capable of carrying more than 1,500 passengers, 330 cars and 40 freight trucks on the route.

 Have a look at www.fastnetline.com for more information.

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