Displaying items by tag: tourism
#IslandNews - Residents of the Aran Islands are currently in China accompanied by the mayor of Co Galway for a worldwide competition that's doubling as an opportunity to market the West of Ireland as a tourism destination.
#IslandNews - Islands development authority Comhar na nOileán Teo has been given ministerial sanction to approve funding for a new three-star hostel in the Aran Islands, as the Galway Advertiser reports.
Some €200,000 in Rural Development Funding will go to the development of the 40-bed hostel on Inis Mór which aims to capitalise on a gap in the tourism market for low-cost accommodation for families and outdoors enthusiasts alike.
"The area of cultural and adventure tourism is growing on Inis Mór," said Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan. "This hostel will be a great addition to the accommodation that is currently available on the island."
The Galway Advertiser has more on the story HERE.
#Tourism - While angling on Ireland's waterways is undoubtedly a big attraction, there's more to this island's picturesque spots than great fishing, as Brian Gallagher of Scotland's Daily Record discovered on his recent holiday to the south-west.
Gallagher's three-day whistle-stop tour of West Cork included a meal in Ireland's 'food capital' Kinsale during the harbour town's annual arts festival, and a whale watching trip out of Baltimore that took in the rugged, lonely beauty of Fastnet Rock in the Atlantic.
Yet despite cramming a lot into his visit, he "still felt refreshed as it involved a lot of gentle sailing and tasty food.
"I have to admit this corner of Ireland, and the West Cork islands, certainly deserves its culinary title and maybe a visit… or two."
The Daily Record has more on the story HERE.
Boasting a climate that's (usually) kind to anglers all year round, Ireland is the perfect location for anyone planning their dream angling vacation or even a last-minute getaway.
And being only a few hours by road from end to end, you're never too far away from your pick of the catch, whether it's Lough Corrib's famous salmon and trout, codling at Rosses Point or even bluefin tuna in Donegal Bay.
IrishCentral has much more on the story HERE.
And for more specific details, the Huffington Post has a great guide to fly fishing in Ireland.
Despite the cold temperatures, winter is when our waves pick up the most and the pros flock to hotspots like Mullaghmore in Sligo, listed as one of the world's best.
But there's great surfing to be had all around Ireland's coast, from Donegal to West Cork, Waterford and even Wicklow.
And the campaign also hopes to reach Irish people who've never picked up a surfboard before.
The swim traditionally took place each year with the support of the Blake family.
And Enniskillen RNLI have hailed as a "great honour" the opportunity for its local volunteer crew to revive the swim in association with sponsors Blakes the Hollow, Western Cars and The Print Factory.
The 750m swim on Lough Erne is open to swimmers of all ages either individually or in small groups such as youth clubs, sports clubs or simply groups of friends.
Enniskillen RNLI says the emphasis for this swim is for everyone to have fun and for that reason, if required, novice swimmers may complete the swim in a well-fitted lifejacket or buoyancy aid but must be confident that they can complete the distance.
Registration for the swim will take place at 12 noon on the day, followed by a short safety briefing. Sponsorship forms are available by email or can be collected at The Wig & Crown, Blakes the Hollow and Western Cars. For further information contact Adrian at 07974 730456.
In other news, RTÉ Radio 1’s The Business will broadcast live from Bundoran RNLI lifeboat station this Saturday morning 3 August.
The focus of the show will be on the business of Bundoran being a seaside resort - a reputation the Donegal town has enjoyed for more than two centuries.
Speaking ahead of his visit, programme host George Lee said: "I'm really looking forward to broadcasting from Bundoran, particularly on a bank holiday weekend. I'm hoping to experience lots of surfing, slots machines and ice-creams.
"On the show we'll be looking back at the heyday of the dancehalls, we'll be joined by Bundoran regular Ramona Nicholas from Dragon's Den, we'll be speaking to two men making money from oil exploration and lots, lots more."
The Business is broadcast Saturday morning at 10am on RTÉ Radio 1.
#Angling - Minister of State for Natural Resources Fergus O’Dowd has warmly welcomed the findings of a new national economic study that reveals for the first time that angling and angling tourism in Ireland are generating a dividend in excess of €0.75 billion within the Irish economy every year.
The study, commissioned by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), shows direct spending on angling in Ireland amounted to €555 million in 2012, with indirect spending worth an additional €200 million and totalling €755 million.
The study - titled a Socio-Economic Study of Recreational Angling in Ireland - found that 406,000 people were involved in recreational angling in Ireland last year, with over 150,000 of these travelling from Northern Ireland and overseas.
Over a quarter of a million Irish adults (252,000) held a fishing rod last year with sea angling along with salmon and brown trout angling seen as the most popular categories where domestic anglers are concerned.
The quality of the Irish angling product, the friendliness and hospitality of the Irish people and our outstanding scenery were cited amongst the principal attractions of Ireland as an international destination for recreational angling. Tourism angling spend is estimated at approximately €280 million on an annual basis.
Speaking at the launch of the study at the Royal College of Physicians on Kildare Street, Minister O'Dowd admitted that the findings had come as a surprise, as this was the first national survey which was able to put a value on angling to the economy and that up till now the economic significance of the sector had been greatly underestimated.
The minister said the study not only highlighted to him the major economic impact that angling makes to the Irish economy, but it also underlined the need to continue to protect and nurture this valuable resource, if it is to be allowed to develop and grow to achieve its full potential.
“The results contained in this report are significant,” he said. “Angling, as a recreational pursuit, is a major contributor to the fabric of Irish life in all parts of the country, particularly in rural and peripheral areas.
"From the industry perspective, the strategic development and marketing of our angling product is essential and has been given new impetus in light of what we now know about the visiting and spending patterns of anglers and what is important in drawing them here.
He added that it is "equally clear to me that maintaining a strong focus on the protection and conservation of this vital resource into the future is absolutely key if we are to properly sustain and grow these benefits to anglers, angling businesses and the Irish economy.”
The study, commissioned by IFI in early 2012 and undertaken by consultants Tourism Development International, was undertaken to help underpin effective strategic planning and decision making in respect of the angling product’s development and marketing.
IFI chief Dr Ciaran Byrne commented at the launch that the national fisheries agency “will now review the results of the survey in conjunction with our stakeholders. Clearly fish stocks and fish habitat must be conserved, protected and developed. Angling businesses must be given every opportunity to win business and secure and grow the jobs within the sector.
"IFI is committed to these goals and together with our stakeholders and the support of Government, state agencies and a new angling marketing and development plan we will achieve them.”
The study is available to download from the IFI website HERE.
Minister Leo Varadkar opened the new section of the N86 road outside Annascaul which lies on the main route from Tralee to Dingle, and which is used by thousands of local residents and thousands more tourists every year.
The project cost around €9 million and was funded by the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport. It was overseen by the National Roads Authority (NRA) and Kerry County Council and was completed in around 16 months.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Varadkar said: "This is an important project for West Kerry and the whole county, and will make a big difference to journeys in the area.
"But it has also national significance, as thousands of tourists travel along the N86 every year in order to reach Dingle, one of our premier tourism destinations."
He added: “Although the old N86 had its charms, it was also very narrow, and the stretch which we have upgraded had a number of dangerous junctions leading on to side roads. These have now been replaced and will make a big difference to safety levels.
"The new road is wider at 3 metres, and also provides a hard shoulder in each direction. I’m also very pleased that we have been able to offer cycle and pedestrian facilities along this stretch.”
In the longer term, the NRA plans to upgrade the entire length of the N86 between Dingle in the west of the peninsula, and Camp on the northern side.
The plan is to develop the 27km project as one of four Tourist Route Pilot Schemes, including cycle schemes and pedestrian access.
Similar schemes have already opened along the N59 near Clifden, Co Galway, the N59 at Kilbride, Co Mayo and the N56 at Glenties, Co. Donegal.
The proposal for the N86 would considerably improve safety levels and journey times in West Kerry, and improve road surfaces in the villages of Lispole, Annascaul and Camp on the Dingle Peninsula.
#Shannon - Passages on the River Shannon in 2013 so far have fallen more than 50% compared to numbers for the same period a decade ago, according to the Irish Waterways History blog written by Afloat's inland correspondent, Brian Goggin.
Using statistics supplied by Waterways Ireland, the site plotted a graph that shows an overall decline in lock and bridge passages on the Shannon in the months from January to May each year since 2003, with a slight spike in 2007 the only buck in the downward trend.
Though the figures do not record all uses of the waterway (such as sailing, angling and other watersports) and do not account for variables such as the weather, they are indicative - the site claims - of "the Shannon's most significant tourism activity, the cruiser hire business".
Indeed, the figures apparently show that boat hire passage numbers have fallen from 11,440 in January-May 2003 to just 4,781 in the same months this year.
Even private boat passages have been falling from a peak in 2009 to just below their 2003 numbers, if the site's interpretation of the stats is anything to go by.
However, a source close to Afloat.ie says that the falling numbers may be skewed by a growing emphasis on larger-capacity vessels on Ireland's inland waterways, with eight- and 12-berth boats supplanting older four-berth vessels, and families and groups consolidating their recreational boating.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the year turns out, and whether the overall numbers from January to December will tell a different story of the state of the Shannon and other waterways.
The north-east county was among a surprise selection of areas known for their maritime and waterways attractions - such as Westmeath on the Shannon and Galway, host of last year's Volvo Ocean Race finale - that were not featured in the Irish tourism board's list of 45 towns and villages put forward for the Highly Commended Tourism Towns award, part of the National Tidy Towns Awards to be announced later in the year.
Counties on the water that did make the cut include Clare and Mayo, with five towns each on the list, Kerry with four - including last year's winner Portmagee - and Donegal and Waterford, represented three times each.
The top prize winner, to be announced by Fáilte Ireland in November, will receive €10,000 in supports for tourism marketing and development.
Though Sligo is conspicuous by its absence, Donegal's triple placing shows the north-east region is a big tourism attraction - and the Tripclocker blog says surfing is at the forefront of that.
With Ireland's exposure to the open Atlantic giving is "better waves more often", according to Killian O'Kelly of Bundoran's Turn n' Surf, there is a wide variety of surf beaches stretching from Donegal to Clare in particular with swells for all levels of experience.