Fáilte Ireland has launched a Visitor Experience Development Plan for the Connemara Coast and Aran Islands to encourage continued growth in visitor numbers to the region by extending the tourism season and spreading business across all parts of the region.
Speaking at the launch in Station House, Clifden, Co Galway, Miriam Kennedy, Head of the Wild Atlantic Way, said, “Our Visitor Development Plans aim to identify the stand out features for an area and provide a framework to present the experiences and stories of that area in a way that tourists can easily understand. With tangible actions and a process for local businesses to become involved, this plan will encourage visitors to engage with the true essence and story of the Connemara Coast and Aran Islands, increasing dwell time and revenue without compromising the environment or culture of the region.
“Local consultation and input was central to the creation of the Visitor Experience Development Plan and a programme of consultations and workshops were held across the region from November 2016 to February 2017. This inclusive approach gave local stakeholders the opportunity to contribute to the plan and shape the visitor experiences that are unique to this area.”
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Fáilte Ireland worked collaboratively with key stakeholders in the area including Galway County Council, National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Forum Connemara on the plan which will focus on a number of development projects.
Commenting on the initiative, Eileen Mannion, Chairperson of Galway County Council said, “While the Connemara Coast and the Aran Islands have already benefitted greatly from the Wild Atlantic Way, this new Visitor Development Plan will provide local tourism operators with the opportunity to further develop experiences that will inspire visitors to stay longer and spend more within the region. The Connemara Coast and the Aran Islands are renowned for their natural rugged beauty, rich folklore and stories and this plan identifies the key themes which local business can build on to better their offering.”