The CEO of Fáilte Ireland, Shaun Quinn, believes the new west coast driving route, the Wild Atlantic Way, has the potential to be a significant game-changer for tourism in the North West but called for greater team working from all stakeholders as he addressed delegates to the Malin Waters Region Marine and Tourism Conference in Solis Lough Eske, Donegal.
Mr Quinn said: “If we are to realise the full potential of coastal tourism, we need to identify and develop big, ambitious projects of scale. We believe we have found just that in the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ - designed to highlight Ireland’s unique geographical positioning along the Atlantic Ocean.
Mr Quinn said the response to the project in the north west so far has been extremely encouraging. Tour operators, local authorities, business people and local residents – all along the route have expressed an interest in becoming involved. This project for Donegal particularly will have a strong impact in the international market place, possessing as it does a major appeal for overseas visitors to engage with and travel along the route. The Donegal mainland coastline is the longest coastline in the country (at 1,134km) and is a heavily indented and rugged coastline including many stunning coastal views. Donegal alone will have three of the Wild Atlantic way’s 15 Iconic Viewing Areas along the route: Malin Head (Ireland’s most northerly point); Fanad Head and Sliabh Liag. Donegal will also have a total of over 30 other designated viewing points. (See page 4).