SIGNS are positive for north Clare after the latest initiative aimed at developing sustainable tourism in the area.
Failte Ireland recently unveiled the first viewing points along the Burren Discovery Trail, a new looped route off the Wild Atlantic Way.
The trail is one of the projects that has emerged from the Visitor Experience Development Plan for the Burren and Cliffs of Moher, published earlier this year, that is designed to encourage visitors to explore more and stay longer in the Burren.
Developed with an investment of €340,000 from Fáilte Ireland, the 95km Burren Discovery Trail takes visitors through the Burren Highlands in Clare and Lowlands in Galway encouraging them to engage with the stories of each local area and explore the many wonderful towns and villages in the region.
Miriam Kennedy, Head of the Wild Atlantic Way at Fáilte Ireland, said, “The Burren is famous for its stunning karst natural landscape but it is also a living environment with its own unique culture and traditions.
“The Burren Discovery Trail was designed to bring the stories of the region to life and encourage visitors to explore more of the area and stay longer.”
“With the support of Clare and Galway County Councils, the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Coillte, we’re delighted to unveil the first of our new viewing points, which will enhance the visitor experience and increase dwell time, supporting revenue generation and job creation in local communities across the region.”
Leonard Cleary, Director of Service at Clare County Council noted that the project delivers on the Clare Tourism Strategy 2030 and aims to distribute visitors across the wider North Clare area for the economic and social benefit of local towns and villages.”
Nuala Mulqueeney, managing director of the Aillwee Cave & Birds of Prey Centre in The Burren and Geraldine Enright, Director of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, Co-Chairs of the Visitor Experience Development Plan for the Burren and Cliffs of Moher, said: “We’re delighted to see the Burren Discovery Trail come to fruition. A catalyst project in the Visitor Experience Development Plan for the Burren and Cliffs of Moher, it will help distribute visitors more evenly across the Burren and encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more within the region.”
The theme of the trail is mythology and folklore. Constructed of the same Corten Steel as the Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Points, each viewing point along the trail features a doorway interpreting the Dolmen, a signature image of The Burren.
Storyboards highlight the unique stories and flora of the local area as well as follow on steps encouraging visitors to explore the route further.
Viewing points have been installed across the Burren Highlands in Co. Clare in Lisdoonvara, Corofin, Gragan’s Wood, Corkscrew Hill and Kilfenora and further viewing points will be installed across the Burren Lowlands in Co. Galway over the coming weeks, ensuring the trail is market ready for the beginning of the 2022 tourism season.
The Burren Discovery Trail will be promoted on www.discoverireland.ie and a visitor map is available for local businesses to use.
Fáilte Ireland is working with businesses in the region to maximise the tourism opportunities the trail presents and a motif celebrating the unique culture of the region has been created for businesses to use across their websites and marketing materials along with an interpretation toolkit.
For more information on the Visitor Experience Development Plan for the Burren and Cliffs of Moher, visit www.failteireland.ie.