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Three ‘heads' better than none in new tourism plan for WAW

February 14th, 2018 7:15 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Artist Christina Jasmin Roser works on the Wild Atlantic Way, near Durrus, between Sheep's Head and Mizen Head. Fáilte Ireland is looking for ideas for ‘visitor experiences' to boost the experience of tourists on the three peninsulas of Beara, Sheep's Head and Mizen and is holding a series of worksh

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FÁILTE Ireland is looking for ideas to promote Sheep’s Head, Beara and the Mizen Peninsula, which are part of the popular tourist route, the Wild Atlantic Way.

Fáilte Ireland is looking for local input in its bid to develop a Visitor Experience Development Plan (VEDP) for the area, stretching from Ballydehob to Kenmare.

Siobhán Burke, project manager for the VEDP for Fáilte Ireland, said: ‘We are looking for ideas that can help to drive tourism growth for the years to come.

‘It can involve arts, heritage, history, culture, activities – in fact anything – that could be developed to provide visitors with a genuine experience of the region.’

With this in mind, local tourism, business and community group members, as well as all other interested parties and individuals, are invited to a series of workshops that will take place in venues on the three peninsulas.

The workshops will take place during a week in which external consultants appointed by Fáilte Ireland will explore the region, meet people, sample experiences, and assess ways to make it stand out as a particularly appealing destination on the Wild Atlantic Way.

The plan will involve, not just external consultants, but also local authorities and the widest possible range of local tourism stakeholders. 

Ms Burke explained that similar plans have been successfully developed for the Skellig Coast, the Burren, and the Cliffs of Moher, as well as for Connemara and the Aran islands.

‘The plan will form part of a bigger process that will seek to increase visitor numbers to the Wild Atlantic Way, and increase the time and money they spend in the area,’ she explained. Miriam Kennedy, the new head of the Wild Atlantic Way, told The Southern Star: ‘Local consultation and input is essential if we are going to produce a plan that works for the visitor and for the local economy. 

‘We look forward to welcoming people to our workshops and drop-in sessions to hear the ideas they have to offer.’

Anyone with an interest in promoting tourism is welcome to attend the workshops, which commenced on Monday, February 12th with a two-hour session from 4pm to 6pm at Grove House in Schull.

They will continue on Wednesday, February 14th with a workshop from 4pm to 6pm at the Old Creamery in Kilcrohane; and another on Thursday, February 15th from 7 to 9pm at the Maritime Hotel in Bantry.

The workshop on Friday, February 16th will take place from 3pm to 5pm at the Eccles Hotel in Glengarriff. It will be followed by a series of workshops on Monday, February 19th starting with an 11am session at the Caha Centre in Adrigole; a 12.30pm to 1.30pm session at the Beara Coast Hotel in Castletownbere; and a third workshop from 7.30pm to 8.30pm at the Anam Cara Writers’ and Artists’ Retreat in Eyeries.

On Tuesday February 20th, there will also be a workshop at the Brook Lane Hotel in Kenmare from 7 to 9pm.

Anyone wishing to attend is asked to confirm their place by emailing [email protected], or calling 086 303 0991. 

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