The minister joined Fáilte Ireland to present the final route to 300 top overseas tour operators attending Meitheal 2013, Ireland’s largest tourism trade fair.
The Wild Atlantic Way will be Ireland’s first long-distance driving route, stretching from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal to Kinsale in Co Cork, and offering future visitors an opportunity to discover the west coast.
The 2,500km final route was unveiled following a comprehensive public consultation process and includes 156 strategically placed discovery points for tourists along the way.
While the route unveiled today comprises the main spine of the Wild Atlantic Way, a series of looped itineraries off the spine are also planned to further develop the experience for visitors.
Speaking today, Minister Ring said: “The Wild Atlantic Way is a very exciting project and I’m certain it will be a major tourism attraction. But to make it happen we all need to get on board.
"There has been a great response so far and I’m encouraging tourism operators, local authorities, business people and residents to stay involved to get this over the finishing line."
Overseas tour operators were given an advance ‘sneak-peek’ of the route last night at a Fáilte Ireland welcome event in the Convention Centre Dublin when they were treated to the premiere of the video trailer above to show them just what their clients can expect along the route from next year on.
Paddy Mathews, manager of destination development with Fáilte Ireland, believes the project will be a great addition to what Ireland has to offer visitors.
“Developing a route like this is an important part of ensuring Ireland is able to provide visitors with an unforgettable experience," he said. "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 providing easy access to a range of experiences along the route.
“Now that the route has been finalised we will be focusing our efforts on turning all this preparatory work into a reality – an international driving route to rival the best in the world.”
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.
Full details of the Wild Atlantic Way are available on the Fáilte Ireland website HERE.