Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (106)

Joe Carey

Question:

106. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans for a wild Atlantic walkway; the potential impact such a walkway could have on tourism in rural areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29569/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

My Department's role in relation to tourism lies primarily in the area of national policy development.  Implementation of that policy is a matter for the tourism agencies, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland, as well as other bodies.  The management and development of the tourism experience brands, including the Wild Atlantic Way, is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland.

I have, however, engaged with Fáilte Ireland in progressing a feasibility study on the development of a Wild Atlantic Way Coastal path, the first stage of which was a pilot study in 2018 to examine linking the existing Kerry Way and Dingle Way routes.  Early indications from the study show that there is strong economic value to rural hinterlands for developing long-distance iconic walks.

I am also aware that the Wild Atlantic Way Journey Review, which is reviewing the entire route, is currently at draft stage and that Fáilte Ireland will be consulting with Local Authorities to agree recommendations.

As these matters are operational matters for Fáilte Ireland, I have referred the Deputy's question to the tourism agency for further reply to the Deputy.  Please contact my private office if you have not received a reply within ten working days.    

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A