History and heritage central to new plan for Meath and Louth announced by Minister Catherine Martin

History and heritage central to new plan for Meath and Louth announced by Minister Catherine Martin

Counties Meath and Louth are set to benefit from a new destination experience development plan that will bring to life the ancient culture, history, heritage and natural landscape synonymous with the two counties.  

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaelteacht, Sports and Media, Catherine Martin and Fáilte Ireland have today (Wednesday 12 May) launched the ‘Ancient’ Destination Experience Development Plan (DEDP) [pdf, 3.4mb] to drive and sustain tourism in Meath and Louth by developing new and enhanced visitor experiences across both counties.

The five-year Plan has been developed in collaboration with Meath & Louth County Councils, the Office of Public Works (OPW) and several local tourism operators and businesses. The history and heritage of the counties will be central to the Plan which aims to create a dynamic destination that will attract domestic and international visitors.

The Plan includes a number of innovative and ambitious initiatives to develop the region as a top tourist destination including:
  • a re-imagined Boyne Valley Drive;
  • new Greenways and Blueways;
  • enhanced outdoor offering in Carlingford Lough and coastal Louth;
  • revival of 'Ancient' trails throughout the landscape.
The diversity and range of attractions, activities, cultural experiences across the counties will be highlighted and the Plan will also develop immersive visitor food experiences that tell the ‘Ancient’ story and enhance the food sector in the region.

Announcing the Plan, Minister Martin said:

“The aim of the Ancient Destination Experience Development Plan is to support the development of the tourism offering in Meath and Louth, which ties in so closely in this region with our ancient culture, our heritage of myths and legends and also our lush natural environment.

“The past 12 months have been exceptionally challenging for the tourism sector. As we look forward to the reopening of tourism, it is important to develop innovative and ambitious plans such as the Ancient DEDP to leverage the unique tourism offering in rural Ireland for the domestic and international audience, once it is safe to do so.”

Speaking at the virtual launch of the Plan, Brian O’Flynn, Head of Ireland’s Ancient East at Fáilte Ireland, said:
“Meath and Louth are some of the most historically and culturally significant areas in Ireland. The Ancient Destination Experience Development Plan aims to capture the unique essence of this part of the island and develop what is already an exciting area into a holistic tourism destination. Meath and Louth are steeped in Ancient stories and sites, and this plan provides a framework for tourism businesses and stakeholders in the region to tell their Ancient stories to visitors.

“Working with Meath County Council, Louth County Council and the OPW, over the next five years we plan to create new visitor experiences in the area, as well as developing and improving existing ones to drive long-term tourism growth, help extend the tourism season and sustain rural employment across both counties.

“I would like to thank both County Councils and the Office of Public Works, as well as local tourism businesses, for their valuable input into this plan and for their collaborative approach to developing the Meath-Louth area into a world-class tourist destination.”
Commenting on the Plan, Jackie Maguire CEO Meath County Council said:

“The tourism development approach outlined within the Ancient DEDP represents a destination roadmap for everybody involved in tourism. We are fortunate to have a UNESCO World Heritage site as a key attractor to the region. Initiatives such as re-imagining the Boyne Valley Drive and telling the 5,000 year story through our Greenways and Blueways represent exciting opportunities to build on the success of Brú na Boinne. The plan also maps out how the tourism industry can build on these opportunities and grow the economic value of tourism across all communities.”

Joan Martin, CEO Louth County Council added:
“The Ancient DEDP provides us with a collective vision for area. It creates a platform for new levels of collaboration between the public and private sector building on existing experiences and creating opportunities for visitors to explore our wonderful communities. The plan has identified immediate areas of focus for us to maximise the potential of our urban and rural destinations and allow us to showcase the rich natural heritage of our counties to the visitor.”

Find out more about the Ancient Destination Experience Development Plan for Meath and Louth

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