Donegal Green Party Candidate Michael White has called for a new “Donegal Action Plan for Tourism”.
The party is proposing the initiative to boost incoming tourist numbers, broaden the range of activities that are promoted, and target higher-value visitors for the county.
He said “Tourism is underdeveloped in Donegal compared to Kerry, Galway and other regions. There is a huge opportunity for us to capitalize on our incredible landscape, our history and our culture to drive jobs and economic growth in the county.”
The Green Party is proposing that the Action Plan focuses on three primary types of tourism:
Outdoor and activity based holidays – with a big emphasis on water sports.
Cultural and historical tourism – focused on promoting the Gaeltacht as a destination, along with key historical sites like Grianan Aileach.
Food and ‘experience’ based tourism – focused on more affluent tourists who want to pay for unique experiences like ballooning in combination with artisan food holidays.
“We want to promote new ways of thinking about tourism in the county. For example, there is a huge opportunity in historical tourism.
“From the Norman castle in Greencastle through to the medieval Donegal Castle, we can effectively offer visitors the opportunity to “time travel” as they move across the county.
“And because of monastic missionary activity down through the centuries we have ready-made links to places like St Gallen in Switzerland and Bobbio in Italy. We can use this fantastic historical legacy to attract more affluent visitors from across Europe and beyond”.
The party wants to see a big investment in Eco-Tourism, such as cycling and walking tours, and Outdoor Activity tourism, particularly based around water sports like canoeing, rowing and sailing.
This links in with their previously stated aim of accelerating the implementation of cycle paths and Greenways across the county. They say there also great opportunities in “on farm” tourism as a way to boost family farm incomes.
The Green Party proposes a major investment in the marketing budget for the county, targeting high earning visitors from Europe as well as the US and UK.
“They also want to set up a coordination committee, working with Fáilte Ireland, to ensure tourism providers of all types have a chance to influence and benefit from an integrated marketing campaign.
“A key part of the success of the plan will depend on improved transport links with the rest of the country and with Northern Ireland. We are already calling for restored rail links and an-increased investment in bus services as a way to ensure more visitors are attracted to the North West”.Tags: