Thursday, 7 November 2013
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Tourism Capital Investment Programme
231. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide further details on the additional funds for tourism capital provided in Budget 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47462/13]
I was pleased to welcome the announcement in Budget 2014 of an additional €8 million in capital investment for the Wild Atlantic Way. The Wild Atlantic Way is set to be Ireland's first long-distance touring route, stretching along the Atlantic coast from Donegal to West Cork. It is planned to develop it into an attraction of international scale, on a par with the Garden Route in South Africa or the Great Ocean Road in Australia, that will achieve greater visibility for the west coast of Ireland in overseas tourist markets. It will be a central feature of our overseas promotion efforts through Tourism Ireland in 2014, as we bring Ireland's magnificent scenery to the world, and I understand the overseas tourist trade has already given the product a strong endorsement.
I am informed that this funding will ensure the completion of route signage, provide for the development and enhancement of discovery points on the route as well as other infrastructural improvements. While my Department provides the capital funding for investment in tourism product such as the Wild Atlantic Way, it is not directly involved in developing or managing such product. The development of the Wild Atlantic Way is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland and I have referred the Deputy's question to the agency for further information in relation to its future development. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.