Inishowen tourism interests urged to get involved in ‘Atlantic Way’

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Joe McHugh TD has urged Inishowen coastal tourism stakeholders and groups to engage with Fáilte Ireland in the design and layout of the planned Wild Atlantic Way tourism route.

Speaking this week Deputy McHugh said: “Fáilte Ireland launched plans some months ago for a Wild Atlantic Way route, modelled on Austalia’s Great Ocean Road and on the USA’s Route 66. The idea of a driver tourism route along Europe’s coastline with the Atlantic Ocean is exciting and has massive potential to draw tourists from all over the world to this country.

“The initial route plan for the Wild Atlantic Way was from Cork to the Sliabh Liag cliffs. I made a number of submissions to Fáilte Ireland seeking extension of the route to Malin Head and through to the Giants Causeway; it has been confirmed that the route will now extend along Donegal’s Atlantic Coast to Malin Head and will continue to the border with Derry, where it will link in with the Causeway Coast.

“Fáilte Ireland is currently working on the development of a Proposition and Brand Identity for the Wild Atlantic Way and will be undertaking fieldwork shortly. This will establish what the Wild Atlantic Way stands for, it will identify which experiences and products best encapsulate its essence, and it will develop a brand identity. The delivery date for the Proposition and Branding is the end of September.

“I encourage all Inishowen coastal tourism stakeholders to engage with Donegal’s Fáilte Ireland office on the Route Master Plan, which is to be finalised at the end of October. Fáilte Ireland is open to suggestions and submissions on the design and layout of the route.

“Fáilte Ireland is also currently working on the preparation of the Route Master Plan. This work involves identifying the spine and loops of the Wild Atlantic Way, and this planning process commenced this week. Regional steering groups made up of representatives from Fáilte Ireland, the relevant Local Authorities; the relevant Leader Companies; and Údarás na Gaeltachta are carrying out this work. The Fáilte Ireland office in Letterkenny is working hard on the layout that the route will take in Donegal.

“The quality of the Wild Atlantic Way will be determined by the level of engagement with the concept by tourism stakeholders along the Atlantic coastline. I encourage Inishowen tourism stakeholders and local groups to engage with Fáilte Ireland about the project at letterkenny.letterkennyoffice@failteireland.ie or at 074 91 21160. I am available to work with any groups or individual tourism stakeholders that wish to get involved or to make submissions.”