€100m to take Wild Atlantic Way to ‘next level’
The Wild Atlantic Way is to receive €100 million investment from the government who intend to take it to the ‘next level’.
The fund is one of several measures published by the Programme for Partnership Government with the emphasis being on the tourism industry and its continued growth.
The aim is to attract 10 million visitors a year to Ireland by 2025, which will bring in an estimated €5 billion of revenue.
The report reads:
One of the biggest achievements in revitalising tourism has been the creation of the Wild Atlantic Way.
We will seek to set aside €100 million in additional capital funding to take the Wild Atlantic Way to the next level, including an Atlantic Blueway route, and the Ireland Way, and to invest further in developing a nationwide Greenway network.
As part of this additional funding, we will double the funding available for the Rural Walks Scheme from €2million to €4million to increase the number of walks covered from 40 to 80.
We will also direct Fáilte Ireland to develop the ‘Ireland’s Lakelands’ brand as a separate proposition to sit alongside the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. To assist with sustainability of tourist accommodation and small tourism ventures, a support scheme will be introduced for businesses operating along these routes.
We will work towards achieving the ambitious tourism policy goals set for 2025. These include increasing revenue from overseas visitors to €5billion, growing employment in the tourism sector to 250,000 (from 200,000 currently) and increasing the number of visits to Ireland to 10 million. We will do this through the national tourism policy and through specific measures like the maintenance of the 0% Airport Travel Tax and the retention of the hugely successful 9% VAT rate on tourism related services, providing that prices remain competitive.
Building on engagement between Government and regional airport management, we will seek to invest an additional €10million to intensify efforts to properly prepare our regional airports for a future where they can operate on a standalone commercial basis. This new investment will be in addition to the €28million already committed.