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    Ring reveals the 50 secrets of the Wild Atlantic Way

    Ring reveals the 50 secrets of the Wild Atlantic Way
    Minister Ring launches final route of the Wild Atlantic Way with Tracey Coughlan, Fáilte Ireland

    50 top ‘secrets’ to feature as international promotional drive begins for West Coast driving route and Fáilte Ireland announces over 100 Ambassadors for Wild Atlantic Way


    A major international promotional push has begun this week to profile Ireland’s first ever long-distance driving route, the Wild Atlantic Way which will be open in March 2014.  Fáilte Ireland has developed a suite of exciting promotional material which is being targeted today at 500 key overseas operators and Tourism Ireland overseas market offices around the globe. 

    Even at this stage, many potential visitors are already beginning to think about and plan their holidays for 2014 and the tourism agencies are ensuring that international tour operators are fully up to speed on what Ireland has to offer particularly its newest and biggest attraction along the West Coast.  

    Speaking today, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring T.D. said: 

    “The Wild Atlantic Way is a very exciting project and I’m certain it will be a major magnet for overseas visitors.  However, to make it a success, we need to get the message out there that come March 2014, the Wild Atlantic Way will be open and ready for business. 

    “The initial focus will be on our four key markets – GB, US, France and Germany – following that we will extend to other markets such as Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.  This promotional push to the overseas operators is the first step towards ensuring potential visitors are aware of the route and place Ireland firmly on their holiday radar.”  

    Interestingly, a quirky but informative travel guide - 50 Secrets of the Wild Atlantic Way - has been designed to highlight some of the hidden treasures along the route – places where the locals like to go and which may lie off the beaten track – giving visitors the opportunity to get a true Irish experience.  The guide has been specifically developed with the independent traveller in mind and is aimed at niche operators who cater to the ‘fly and drive’ traveller and smaller group segments.  The guide highlights signature experiences such as:

    • Watch them weave magic into Donegal tweed;
    • Take a traditional seaweed bath;
    • Forage for wild food along the Killala shoreline;
    • Take a cable car for Europe’s last sunset.

    To discover all the ‘secrets’ and experiences on offer, click on link [pdf 6.6 MB]

    A trade manual designed to assist overseas operators, catering for larger groups, to programme the driving route has also been developed with practical information on the towns (parking, viewing points etc) along the way as well as an overview of the accommodation options and the attractions and activities available. To view trade manual click here [12MB].

    Tracey Coughlan from Fáilte Ireland, believes the project will be a great addition to what Ireland has to offer visitors -

    “This route is all about providing visitors with an unforgettable experience. It will open up a huge number of towns and attractions to them and showcase the scenery and unique culture of the West Coast of Ireland as well as providing easy access to a range of experiences along the route. Through our promotional campaign, we are really pitching to capture the imagination of potential travellers with a sense of curiosity and discovery and entice them to come and uncover the Wild Atlantic Drive’s hidden gems for themselves”

    The new promotion is not all paper based or online and, in addition to the international promotional push, the tourism authority has been working closely with local industry members and over 100 ambassadors have been selected as the pilot group to be the faces of the Wild Atlantic Way.  Fáilte Ireland will be working with the local industry and adding to this database on an on-going basis.

    The role of the ambassadors will be to promote the route to the overseas operators and give them a sense of what the Wild Atlantic Way is all about and how they can sell it to their customers. The ambassadors have been selected based on the fact that they provide a “Wild Atlantic Way” experience – whether it be embracing the wild and rugged nature of their location or focusing on where land meets sea along the Atlantic Coast.  In addition a small number of accommodation providers have also been selected based on their location and demonstration that they are catering for Wild Atlantic Way visitors. 

    The group of ambassadors span the West Coast route and include properties such as Voya Seaweed Baths in Sligo, Cnoc Suain in Galway, Mor Active in Kerry and all of the recently announced Fáilte Ireland food champions. 

    An interactive presentation is available online which introduces the Wild Atlantic Way, its ambassadors and allows people to see the route for themselves and all that is has to offer. Click here to view.

    Fáilte Ireland will be working with their colleagues in Tourism Ireland to ensure this exciting set of experiences is promoted in key overseas markets, and ensuring that the information is distributed as widely as possible.  Fáilte Ireland has been working with all the Local Authorities along the West Coast as well as the Leader Companies, Údaras na Gaeltachta and the Western Development Commission.

    Follow us on Twitter @Fáilte_Ireland

    ENDS

    For further information please contact:
    Alex Connolly – Head of Communications
    086 7966320/01 8847884

    Louise Tolerton - Press Officer
    086 6086578/01 8847135


    Note for Editor

    Fáilte Ireland
    Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority, was established in 2003 to guide and promote tourism as a leading indigenous component of the Irish economy.

    The tourism and hospitality industry employs an estimated 185,000 people and generates almost €5.7 billion in revenue a year. 

    The Wild Atlantic Way

    The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s first long-distance driving route.  Stretching from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal to Kinsale in County Cork, the route will offer visitors an opportunity to truly discover the West Coast.  Following a comprehensive public consultation process, the 2,500km route has been finalised and includes 156 discovery points along the way.  At this stage the route comprises of a main spine but in time, a series of looped itineraries will be created to further develop the experience for visitors. 

    Along with the relevant local authorities and other stakeholders, Fáilte Ireland has been working on the Wild Atlantic Way for the past year with significant progress to date in terms of route identification and an overall brand.  Over the next year the focus will be on preparing a signage plan for the route along with ensuring the discovery points are visitor-ready. 

    In addition, the tourism authority will be working with tourism businesses along the route environs to help them deliver and package their Wild Atlantic Way experiences.       

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