Fáilte Ireland has been granted €850,000 in additional funding as part of the Supplementary Estimate for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, which was recently announced by Minister Paschal Donohoe. Much of this funding will be spent on the promoting the Wild Atlantic Way via marketing, social media and IT investments.
The Wild Atlantic Way – the world’s longest defined driving route – has proved very successful in attracting increased numbers of visitors to the West, including Galway and Mayo.
The Government has already provided €8 million in funding this year to establish discovery points and enhance signage along the Wild Atlantic Way. This funding included the €990,000 in funding for the development of an improved visitor experience at Derrygimlagh, Connemara, Co, Galway; one of the key 15 Signature Discovery Points along the route of the Wild Atlantic Way. The investment will significantly enhance the site which was the setting for two outstanding technological achievements of the 20th century: the Marconi Wireless Station, the world’s first commercial transatlantic wireless station in 1907; and twelve years later (in 1919) when Alcock and Brown landed on the site marking the first nonstop, trans-Atlantic flight.
Many businesses in the towns and villages of Galway and Mayo depend on tourism and the business it generates. The Wild Atlantic Way has been fantastic in helping to promote the region to visitors overseas and it is great to see this Government commitment to the project.
The latest Tourism Figures show that 2014 has been an outstanding year in attracting visitors to our country. The figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the number of holidaymakers from overseas grew by +7% in the first nine months of 2014.
Tourism numbers have grown from all of the different markets and destinations. Of particular importance to Galway, Mayo and the West is the important growth from Great Britain and North American markets, with growth of +8% and +11% respectively. Mainland Europe also continued to perform strongly with +6% increase in holidaymakers over this period, driven largely by +17% growth from Germany.