Fáilte Ireland has launched a new 5-year plan that will help drive and sustain tourism on the Inishowen Peninsula in Co. Donegal.
The Inishowen Peninsula Destination and Experience Development Plan (DEDP) aims to create a sustainable tourism destination by extending the tourism season and spreading business across all parts of the region over the next five years.
Key stakeholders in the area and the local community were consulted at four public consultation meetings held around the peninsula and their feedback and ideas have been captured in the plan.
Agencies involved included Donegal County Council, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Office of Public Works, Inishowen Development Partnership, Loughs Agency, Inishowen Development Partnership, Donegal Local Enterprise Office and local tourism marketing groups as well as many local tourism operators and networks.
The focus of the plan builds on a number of destination development projects that will bring local experiences to life including the development of a new world-class visitor attraction at Fort Dunree,Malin Head and cycling trails along the Northwest Greenway and a Blueway that will encourage visitors to discover Inishowen Peninsula.
Launching the plan in Fort Dunree today Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD said:“I am pleased to officially launch the Inishowen Peninsula Destination and Experience Development Plan today which will bolster the sustainability of tourism on the peninsula and will encourage visitors to stay for longer in the area.
“Extending the tourism season will not only strengthen individual businesses but will create new entrepreneurial opportunities – sustaining and increasing job creation and boosting the attractiveness of the area for other forms of economic growth. This plan will make a real difference to communities and businesses on the Inishowen peninsula”
Speaking about the plan, Paul Keeley, Director of Regional Development at Fáilte Ireland said: “This Destination and Experience Development Plan, which captures the unique themes central to the Inishowen Peninsula, is about looking to the future of tourism in the area and will be hugely important as we work to spread the benefit of tourism across County Donegal.
“As part of the plan, Fáilte Ireland and Donegal County Council have invested €12.3 million in Fort Dunree through our Platforms for Growth investment scheme for the development of a compelling visitor experience that will showcase its considerable maritime, military, social and political history, telling engaging stories that visitors can share with their friends and family.
“Over the first five years of operation the project is estimated to generate €19.5m in direct tourism expenditure supporting 550 jobs in the area. Developments like this have the potential to transform and re-imagine Inishowen’s domestic and international appeal.”
John G. McLaughlin, Chief Executive, Donegal County Council, said: “I am delighted to see the Inishowen Peninsula Destination and Experience Development Plan being launched here today.
“It is a great example of how collaboration is the key to building a sustainable tourism industry here in Donegal and will drive the economic growth North of Galway and as far as us here in the North West Region.
“The plan provides us with a collective vision for the area and creates a platform for new levels of collaboration between tourism businesses and stakeholders to work in partnership over the next five years to create new and improved existing visitor experiences.
John McCarter, Chairman, Fort Dunree said: “The Wild Atlantic Way continues to be a phenomenal success and this Plan gives us the opportunity as tourism businesses to capitalise on the popularity of the route and by enticing visitors to come to Donegal and Inishowen particularly in the off-peak season and stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and experience everything the Peninsula has to offer.”
For more information on the Inishowen Peninsula Destination and Experience Development Plan, visit https://www.