WALKWAYS, TRAILS and some outdoor recreational facilities around Ireland are to be developed and upgraded.
Nearly 80 projects have been approved for funding, which will see some well-known recreational areas around the country enhanced.
Examples of the projects which have been approved include:
- The Great Arch Trail from Pollet to Fanad Head in Donegal
- The development of an outdoor activity hub in Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny
- The development of a pedestrian walkway from Cashel to the Rock of Cashel and Hore Abbey in Co. Tipperary
Other projects include the development of a bike sharing docking station in Carlow, the development of a footpath and cycle path from Drumlish to Monaduff, and also from Mosstown to Keenagh.
The development of footpath and cycleway along the Ramparts-Blackwater river walk in Dundalk is also getting upgraded.
In Wicklow, the Vartry Reservoir Walks and Car Park is to be extended, while the well-known tourist spot, Glendalough is getting a boost with St Kevin’s Way getting upgraded.
Orla Carroll, Director of Strategic Development with Fáilte Ireland said quality visitor experiences and the enhancement and further development of Ireland’s recreational tourism offering provide social benefits to local communities.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring said recreational tourism is a growing part of Ireland’s tourism offering.
“We have seen an increase in the number of Irish and overseas visitors enjoying the many greenways, blueways and walking trails which have been developed around the country in recent years. This is generating income for rural areas and helping to create more jobs in the hospitality and leisure sectors.
He added that local communities are also using these trails in large numbers, citing a survey of users on the Waterford Greenway, Ireland’s longest off-road cycling and walking trail, showing that almost two-thirds of users are local people.
“The continued development of our recreational infrastructure will not only support Ireland’s developing rural tourism industry, but will also provide better recreation options for local people and families for their own enjoyment of the countryside,” added the minister.