Fáilte Ireland has pledged to put in place an individual plan to boost local tourism in every region of the country in the coming years.
Addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Tourism, earlier this month, Fáilte Ireland’s director of regional development, Paul Keeley, set out the organisation’s plan to develop rural tourism in Ireland.
Under the four regional experience brands – the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, Ireland’s Ancient East, and Dublin – Fáilte Ireland is creating local area action plans across every region.
Said Mr Keeley: “We call them Destination Experience Development Plans – DEDPs – and by the end of this year there will 24 active destination development plans and 36 by the end of 2025. In short, every part of the country will have a dedicated tourism development action plan created in partnership with local stakeholders.”
“The backbone of our regional strategies is a capital investment programme of €320million in attractions, outdoor changing facilities, greenways, trails and the wider public realm. We are currently working on nearly 120 outdoor enhancement projects and are progressing well with our pipeline of 27 large scale attractions nationwide that will come on stream over the next 5 or 6 years,” he told the Committee.
Mr Keeley said: “By way of opportunity, the growing demand by visitors to explore nature offers real potential for rural Ireland. The natural heritage and cultural assets found in our National Parks and Forest Parks, our inland waterways and our coastal waters have the potential, if developed appropriately, to be a key motivator for visitors.
“Recognising the important role tourism plays in supporting rural communities, Fáilte Ireland has been awarded €68m through the EU Just Transition Fund to deliver a transformative Regenerative Tourism Scheme for the Midlands.”