KILKEE-based tourism consultant and former chairperson of Loop Head Tourism, Cillian Murphy, has expressed “shock and disappointment” at news this week of Clare County Council’s plans to build a €1.34 million coach park at the Cliffs of Moher.
“It completely reinforces our position as the pre-eminent drive-through tourism destination. It is utterly short-sighted and ties the area into a long-term policy. All over the world, tourism destinations are trying to manage capacity issues, yet Clare is bucking the trend and delivering facilities that will encourage further management issues,” he claimed.
“I suggest that this money could deliver most, if not all, of a greenway between Kilrush and Kilkee, a development that would deliver social, economic and environmental benefits across the wider West Clare area. Instead, we have yet another development that facilitates external operators, in effect, paid for by Clare rates payers.
“Did the councillors vote this through? What is the justification of doing this, what problem is it resolving, given the huge over-capacity issues that day trip busses are causing in North Clare?” Mr Murphy queried.
Construction work on the 280m² building, which includes toilet facilities, meeting rooms and offices, is scheduled for completion in June 2018.
“The function of the building is in no way designed to attract more coach business, it is to deal with existing business. In fact, there is a limit on coaches at certain times,” Geraldine Enright, director of the Cliffs of Moher Experience, said.