By Kieran O’Mahony
WEST Cork trails, including the Sheep’s Head Way and the Clonakilty Area Cycling Experience will benefit from being part of a pilot scheme for a new ‘trails for tourism’ policy.
Members of Cork County Council this week adopted the policy which aims to maximise the economic benefit to the county, and was drafted by members of the Tourism Strategic Policy Committee.
Through the promotion of trails, the policy aims to support rural regeneration, economic development and tourism in a sustainable manner.
It is also intended to establish a County Trails Register, which will build on the existing National Trails Office Register. It is considered that Cork is lacking in the promotion of its trails and this policy hopes to establish a single website to promote walking and cycling for the entire county, a trail one-stop-shop.
This unified brand will unite agencies in the promotion and marketing of the activities available. At a County Council meeting this week, councillors were united in their praise for the idea.
Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) said the policy would maximise the economic benefit to the county and it would make Cork a centre for walking tourism. Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) also welcomed it and said it could become our own ‘Camino walk’ in West Cork, linking them all.
Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy (FF) said West Cork is leading the way in developing walking routes, while Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said he was delighted to see the fruition of this policy.