Fáilte Ireland has joined forces with other partners, including Coillte and the National Trails Office, to support a new five part series for RTE called ‘Tracks and Trails’.
Each programme in the series, which began Friday (16th July) at 7.30pm on RTE One, features spectacular walks and cycle tracks in stunning locations across Ireland and is presented by a different celebrity guest each week.
- Episode 1 – Beara Peninsula presented by celebrity chefs Kevin Thornton and Derry Clarke
- Episode 2 – Newport to Mallaranny Greenway, County Mayo presented by celebrity garden designer and television personality, Diarmuid Gavin.
- Episode 3 – Ballyhoura Mountains/Glen of Aherlow presented by….
- Episode 4 – Blue Stack Mountains presented by…
- Episode 5 – Dublin Mountains presented by Irish snooker legend Ken Doherty.
Ethna Murphy, Head of Leisure Tourism at Fáilte Ireland, believes the series will provide a valuable opportunity to showcase what is on offer, not only for outdoor enthusiasts but all holidaymakers, and hopes it will persuade the watching audience to take a break in Ireland this year.
“Walking is becoming an increasing popular activity with Irish holidaymakers. With the development and enhancement of walking routes across the country, there has never been a better time to experience walking in Ireland. We hope that Tracks and Trails, spotlighting the fabulous walking routes available throughout Ireland, will persuade the watching Irish public to take a break at home this year.”
Some Facts about Walking
Walking in Ireland is one of the activities enjoyed most by overseas holidaymakers with research showing that:
- Over 800,000 overseas holidaymakers took part in a walking activity in 2009
- These visitors spent almost €500 million while in Ireland
- Equally as popular with domestic visitors more than 860,000 Irish people holidaying at home took part in walking activities in Ireland last year.
Walking attracts many overseas visitors and when we look at overseas numbers we see that USA, Germany, UK and the Netherlands show the greatest potential for attracting walking visitors.
Research shows that there are potentially more than 1 million UK residents who would partake in walking in Ireland in the next three years. This figure is closely followed by 900,000 German visitors, 800,000 visitors from the USA and 700,000 visitors from the Netherlands.
Fáilte Ireland Investment into Walking
Fáilte Ireland is committed to developing the walking offerings that are being made available to both overseas and domestic visitors and are currently engaged in a number of initiatives, and support programmes, with local communities helping them to welcome walkers with open arms and to understand the economic value of walking activities can offer their local economy.
Over the past four years, 200 National Looped walks have been developed throughout the country – with support from Fáilte Ireland, the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht affairs and Coillte as well as local groups and landowners.
Many of these looped walks are developed and maintained to a very high standard by local communities.
The walks have been developed under a number of themes including Nature, Island, Mountain and Coastal and the local communities, who have taken great pride in developing them, are reaping the benefits with people coming to the areas, doing the walks and spending money locally.