A new "touring region" has been launched to follow up on the success of the Wild Atlantic Way, focusing on major historical landmarks in the south and east of the country.
'Ireland's Ancient East', was introduced by Tourism Minister Paschal Donohue at Meitheal, Ireland’s largest travel trade workshop taking place in the RDS, Dublin this week.
According to the Irish Independent, the initiative won't be a specific route like the Wild Atlantic Way, but rather will offer the area as a compact region showcasing 5,000 years of Irish history.
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Although no investment figure was officially announced, the project is expected to be similar in scope to the Wild Atlantic Way, which Fáilte Ireland poured €10 million into developing.
Fáilte Ireland has stated that the 'Ireland's Ancient East' could increase visitor revenue by 25 per cent to €950 million by 2020, bringing an extra 600,000 visitors to the region.
“With the great amount of history and heritage in such a relatively compact area, ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ will allow us to seriously build on the assets we have in the east and south – and the significant investment which has been made in tourism attractions in the region over the last few years," Minister Donohoe said at the RDS this week.
With the success of The Gathering in 2013 and the Wild Atlantic Way last year, the new initiative will look to build on a tourism sector that is gathering momentum.
The four "pillars" of the new region are:
Ancient Ireland - The Dawn of Civilisation, including the prehistoric attractions of the Boyne Valley in Newgrange and sites such as the Brownshill Dolmen in Carlow Early Christian Ireland - Sites such as Clonmacnoise, Glendalough, Mellifont abbey, Jerpoint Abbey, St.Canice’s Cathedral and Holycross Abbey Medieval Ireland - Sites such as Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile, the Viking Quarter in Waterford, Hook Head Lighthouse (pictured), Trim Castle and the Rock of Cashel Anglo Ireland - Ireland’s Great Houses and Gardens as well as sites such as the Dunbrody Famine Ship and Wicklow Gaol