FÁILTE Ireland is looking for local input as it works to develop a Visitor Experience Development Plan for the area from Ballycroy to Killary Harbour.
Local tourism businesses, tourism and community group members, as well as all other interested parties and individuals are invited to take part in a series of workshops running from April 9 to 16 along the Mayo coast.
The workshops will concentrate on pulling together stories, ideas, and opportunities that could be used to boost tourism in the area.
The workshops will take place in six locations, from Ballycroy to Delphi Valley, including Achill Island and the Currane Peninsula, Mulranny, Newport, Westport, Murrisk, Louisburgh, Clare Island and Inishturk.
The findings from the workshops will feed into a Visitor Experience Development Plan, which will outline ways to improve the benefits of tourism for all communities in the area.
Events, dates and venues are as follows:
Tuesday, April 9, The Beehive, Keel, Achill Island, 16.30 – 18.30
Thursday, April 11, Nevins Newfield Inn, Tiernaur, 13.30 – 15.30
Friday, April 12, Castlecourt Hotel, Westport, 14.30 – 16.30
Monday, April 15, The Derrylahan, Louisburgh, 18.30 – 20.30
Tuesday, April 16, Clare Island Community Centre, Clare Island, 10.30 – 12.00
Tuesday, April 16, Inishturk Community Club, Inishturk, 14.45 – 16.15
Anyone wishing to attend the workshops can confirm attendance by emailing Jackie.Burns@failteireland.ie. Anyone who cannot attend a workshop but would like to contribute to the discussion can also submit their ideas to Fionnán Nestor, firstname.lastname@example.org, or (086) 0481877.
The aim of the Visitor Experience Development Plan is to improve the range and quality of experiences available to visitors and ultimately enable continued growth in visitor numbers, dwell time and spend, helping to extend the tourism season and spread business across all parts of the area.
Similar plans have been developed successfully for the Skellig Coast and the Connemara Coast and Aran Islands.
Miriam Kennedy, head of the Wild Atlantic Way, explains: “Local consultation and input is essential if we are going to produce a plan that works for the visitor and for the local economy. We look forward to welcoming everyone to these workshops to share their knowledge and ideas.”
The development of the plan will be assisted by external experts appointed by Fáilte Ireland who will bring the benefit of their international experience to the process. These experts will explore the region, meeting those in the local communities and sampling the experiences on offer for visitors to formulate a plan that will help the Clew Bay area stand out as a destination on the Wild Atlantic Way.
The deliberations will also involve key stakeholders, including the local authorities and the widest possible range of local tourism stakeholders. Everyone with ideas and knowledge to share is welcome to the planned workshops.
The Visitor Experience Development Plan forms part of a bigger process that is seeking to increase visitor numbers on the Wild Atlantic Way with a particular focus on increasing the time and money they spend in areas that have capacity for growth.