Donegal tourist stakeholders invited to development workshops

Visitor Experience Development Plan in pipeline for Donegal's Inishowen peninsula

Inishowen tourism businesses, tourism and community group members are being encouraged to contribute to a visitor experience plan for the peninsula.


According to Ali Farren, manager of Malin Head Community Centre, Fáilte Ireland is seeking local input as it works to develop a visitor experience development plan for Inishowen.


Ali told Donegal Live: “Fáilte Ireland is looking for local input as it works to develop a visitor experience development plan for the Inishowen peninsula.


“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 January 27 to 30, along the Donegal coast from Muff to Malin Head, including Carndonagh, Ballyliffin and Buncrana.”


The dates and venues for the workshops are as follows: Monday, January 27 in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel (Buncrana) from 2.00pm to 4.00pm; Tuesday, January 28 in the Ballyliffin Town House Hotel from 6.30pm to 8.30pm; Wednesday, January 29 in the Colgan Hall (Carndonagh) from 2.00pm to 4.00pm; and Friday, January 30 in the Redcastle Hotel from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Everyone is very welcome to attend.


Ali Farren said the workshops will concentrate on “pulling together stories, ideas and opportunities that could be used to boost tourism in Inishowen.”


He added: “The workshops are taking place during a week in which external consultants appointed by Fáilte Ireland will explore the region, meeting people, sampling experiences, and assessing ways to make Inishowen stand out as a particularly appealing destination on the Wild Atlantic Way.


“The Visitor Experience Development plan for the Inishowen Peninsula will involve not just these external consultants, but also local authorities and the widest possible range of local tourism stakeholders. It forms part of a bigger process which is seeking to increase visitor revenue and length of stay on the Wild Atlantic Way. The project is also seeking out ideas that will improve the range and quality of experiences available to our visitors.


“Similar plans have been developed successfully for the Skellig Coast as well as for the Clew Bay, Connemara and the Aran islands,” said Ali Farren.


Miriam Kennedy, Head of the Wild Atlantic Way explained: “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 you to these workshops to share your knowledge and your ideas


“The Visitor Experience Development Plan will ultimately encourage continued growth in visitor numbers, dwell time and spend in the area, helping to extend the tourism season and spread business across all parts of the region.”


Anyone interested in attending any of the workshops is asked to confirm their attendance by emailing: Lorna.Demmel@failteireland.ie.


Anyone unable to attend a meeting can make a contribution to: David Leonard by emailing: David.Leonard@failteireland.ie or phone: 0860266448.


Commenting on the Visitor Experience Development Plan, Joan Crawford, Wild Atlantic Way Manager at Fáilte Ireland explained: “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 Inishowen Peninsula 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.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email editorial@donegaldemocrat.ie To contact Donegal Post, email editor@donegalpost.com To contact Inish Times, email editor@inishtimes.com.

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