Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring today announced €1.4 million in funding for three locations along the newly developed Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s first long-distance touring route and the keynote tourism project for 2014.
The funding is part of the overall €10 million being invested by Fáilte Ireland during 2014 to ensure that the route, which stretches from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal to Kinsale in Co. Cork, draws significant interest from overseas visitors.
Today’s funding includes:
A €403,000 allocation towards the first phase of a Galway Greenway (similar to the walking/cycling trail in Mayo) which will run through central Connemara, linking Oughterard to Clifden.
A €640,000 grant to develop a “must-see” Signature Discovery Point for visitors at Downpatrick Head, North Mayo including an iconic “Spirit of Place” installation (complementing six others in North Mayo) built around a blowhole which will allow visitors to actually walk around its rim and experience it in a safe manner.
A grant of €364,000 towards the restoration of the Signal Tower at the Old Head of Kinsale as a further “must-see” Signature Discovery Point and viewing point.
Minister Ring said: “The Wild Atlantic Way is a game-changer for the west. It has massive potential to bring more visitors and more jobs to rural communities right along the western seaboard. Today’s investment is about developing must-see attractions along the route. It helps to make the route even more tempting and ensures that we develop its full potential to deliver and hold onto the greatest number of tourists.”
The Wild Atlantic Way is the top tourism project this year and the Government has allocated significant investment of €10 million.
Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn added: “The Wild Atlantic Way is an evolving project which will build and develop over the years and will significantly benefit those counties it traverses. The investment announced today will ensure the new route delivers on its ability to drive extra visitor footfall and become one of the most significant developments in modern Irish tourism as well as a significant engine of regeneration for rural Ireland.”