Fáilte Ireland has launched a new plan to enhance experiences at Ireland’s National Parks and Reserves.
"Experiencing the Wild Heart of Ireland, A Tourism Interpretative Masterplan for Ireland’s National Parks and Coole - Garryland Nature Reserve", was published jointly by minister for culture, heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan and minister of state for tourism and sport Brendan Griffin at Coole Park, Gort, Co. Galway.
The interpretative master plan is a product of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Fáilte Ireland’s strategic partnership. It sets out a framework that will guide the phased development of enhanced visitor centre experiences and improved visitor facilities at Ireland’s National Parks and Reserves, based on research into international best practice. The work will be funded jointly by the Department of Culture and Fáilte Ireland through a multi-million euro investment package over the coming years.
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The features of the plan include:
- Capturing the special and unique stories of each National Park and Nature Reserve and bringing them to life for visitors;
- Leveraging the collective value of the National Parks, particularly those along the Wild Atlantic Way, where five of the six parks are located, and increasing their appeal to visitors;
- Using international best practice to improve the visitor experience in the National Parks’ Visitor Centres.
Speaking at the launch, Madigan said, “Ireland’s National Parks and Reserves are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful places in the world. They are truly the Wild Heart of Ireland and each site contains unique habitats, flora and fauna, as well as dramatically different landscapes, offering unique and different visitor experiences.
“This framework will enable us to not only showcase the beautiful landscape and improve the experience we give visitors and crucially will ensure the long term protection of the Parks. By stressing our conservation and education responsibilities and providing better visitor experience, we can balance conservation and biodiversity with increasing visitor numbers.”
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