The first phase of a major new tourism initiative for the west coast which will run from Donegal to West Cork has been announced by Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring.
The Wild Atlantic Way is set to be Ireland’s first long-distance driving route for tourists, featuring a 1,400km driving route from Donegal to West Cork. It aims to rival similar projects in Australia and South Africa, with the aim of drawing more tourists to the west of Ireland by linking destinations and attractions under a single theme.
Speaking at the official launch in the Connemara Coast Hotel, Minister Ring confirmed that the first pilot phase the project will be in Connemara.
“The Wild Atlantic Way will open up the whole of the west coast to visitors. It will be a way to entice visitors off the beaten track and help them to discover new areas of the west coast,” Minister Ring said.
“I am delighted to announce that €1.8 million has been assigned to the first phase pilot project here in Connemara. The area was chosen because of its current popularity as a destination for self-drive visitors, particularly from France and Germany, and because it lies midway along the route.
Paddy Mathews, Manager of Destination Development with Fáilte Ireland, believes the project will be a great addition to what Ireland has to offer visitors -
“We, in Fáilte Ireland, are working with all 12 local authorities along the western seaboard to help turn this initiative into a reality and their involvement is crucial to the success of the project.”
It is intended that the Wild Atlantic Way will rival many of the well-known long distance driving routes around the world, such as the Great Ocean Road in Australia and the Garden Route in South Africa. Most importantly, it will provide a brand and product of sufficient scale and singularity to gain that all important visibility in our overseas markets.