Why we must do more to look after the wild, wild, west
Published 22/08/2015 | 02:30
It has been forecast Ireland will attract over 7.7 million holidaymakers this year. This certainly will be a great achievement. Some of the recent growth in tourism has been attributed to the novelty of the Wild Atlantic Way. Many seaboard areas are now expecting a greater market share from this project, having faltered too long in the shadow of Dublin's prominent tourism role.
The WAW clearly is a scheme with great potential, making use of the splendid scenery that stretches from Malin Head down the west coast as far as Kinsale. Offshore islands have been made adjuncts to the route, something that will add width to the length.
This is a significant step towards creating a brighter future for rural Ireland by spreading tourist spending more widely into the restaurants, hostels, shops, post offices and pubs, thereby keeping these services viable for the local people who depend on them all year round. It is surely the essence of sustainable rural development.