Fingal to put €18m into new tourism facilities

Swords Castle

Colm Kelpie

Fingal County Council has committed to investing more than €18m in new tourism facilities as part of a strategy to develop tourism in the county.

The new Fingal Tourism Strategy, 'Destination Fingal', sets out a vision for tourism in the county and plots the actions necessary to develop the sector.

Among the projects which Fingal County Council has committed to invest in are: the East Coast Greenway - a signed tourism route from Howth to Balbriggan, the Swords Cultural Quarter, and re-development of various heritage properties in the county.

Cllr David O'Connor, Mayor of Fingal, highlighted the importance of tourism to the county.

"The strategy estimates that visitors to Fingal currently contribute €500m-a-year to the local economy and sustain 20,000 jobs - one in four of our jobs in the county," he said.

"There are currently about 800 tourism businesses in the county. This shows the importance of this indigenous sector. Our goal is to ensure the continuing success of the attractions we have and to support the development of new opportunities and new markets."

Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe said Fingal has a number of advantages.

"Not least in terms of the richness of the natural assets and cultural heritage in the area, but also the proximity of Dublin Airport and the easy access to and from Dublin City."

Paul Reid, Fingal County Council chief executive, said Fingal will be working hard in the coming months to ensure that the county gains maximum leverage from the Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance, established under Failte Ireland.

"We will be working with all relevant agencies and with the tourism industry to promote Fingal and develop new and better marketing campaigns to attract new visitors to the county," he said.

He also underlined that the Council will be taking a more ambitious and proactive approach to developing tourism within the county.