Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Questions (258)

Bernard Durkan


258. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the extent to which he expects tourism to grow on foot of the development of the Wild Atlantic Way; the extent to which specific markets are in mind in this context; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15637/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Wild Atlantic Way is set to be Ireland's first long-distance touring route, stretching along the Atlantic coast from Donegal to West Cork.  It is planned to develop it into an attraction of international scale, on a par with the Garden Route in South Africa or the Great Ocean Road in Australia, that will achieve greater visibility for the west coast of Ireland in overseas tourist markets. With signposting on the route due to be completed this month it is too early to comment on the impact on visitor numbers. However, the Wild Atlantic Way is a major element of the overseas promotion of Ireland as a destination by Tourism Ireland this year, and Tourism Ireland is targeting growth in visits of 4%, with a focus on our largest source markets in Great Britain, the USA, Germany and France.  

I do not have a direct role in the development and marketing of the Wild Atlantic Way which are matters for the boards and management of the tourism agencies. I have referred the Deputy's question to  Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland for further detail on the development and marketing of the route. Please contact my private office if a reply is not received within ten working days.