There is general consensus that harbours and marinas have a tourism and economic benefit for the towns where they are sited. Marine tourism is a major instrument of regional development. Many tourism enterprises are situated in areas where other employment options are limited Local communities benefit from investment in facilities for tourists such as leisure and sporting facilities.
Marinas can generate significant income from their activities in terms of local spend, employment and activity. Whether the marina is occupied by a yacht owner, a visitor or a berth owner, local businesses will benefit from the purchases of fuel, supplies and gifts. Chandler purchases and any repairs carried out will also contribute to the local economy. Most users of the marina will spend money in the town on visitor attractions, golf, meals, drink and other day-to-day requirements, and all of this spend will boost the local economy which will have a significant impact on employment and local disposable income.
A survey of businesses in Dún Laoghaire, Kilmore Quay and Malahide, carried out under an Irish Sea Marine Sector Marketing & Business Development Programme funded under the Interreg 111A project 2005-2007, found that marinas in Dún Laoghaire and Malahide had a positive impact on 34% of respondents. At Kilmore Quay, some 50 per cent of businesses surveyed believed that their local marina contributed to their success.
The survey showed that the average spend per berth on maintenance, chandlery, fuel, personal protective equipment (PPE), clothing, insurance, marina berthing fees and training, ranged between €7,787 and €11,011 per berth, and that the average spend per visitor ranged between €105 and €142 on groceries, gifts, chandlery entertainment and eating out, but not expenditure on other services such as repairs etc.