18th December

Discover Ireland's sea activities via 'The Blueway'

Snorkeling and kayaking at five locations in counties Mayo and Galway feature in a pilot programme created by Failte Ireland to encourage visitors to enage with the sea.

Launching the Blueway, Minister of State for Tourism & Sport, Michael Ring said the project offered "an entirely new perspective" of Ireland's wild Atlantic coastline.

"The Blueway, initiative provides visitors with a safe haven to immerse themselves in some of the most glorious coastal waters anywhere in the world," he said.

Blueway

Pictured at the Old Head beach near Louisburgh:  Michael Ring Minister of State for Tourism and Sport; Rory McCarthy, Fáilte Ireland and members of the Bluewave working group: Charlie Lambert, Martin Dillane, Laura Taylor, Rosaleen Ni Shuilleabhain, Humphery Murphy, Richard Thorn, Maura Lyons and Sabrina Trench

Research indicates that more than 84,000 overseas visitors to Ireland engage in watersports annuallly with the majority of those participating in kayaking and snorkeling. 

 "We're delighted to support this initiative which sees the timely development of an excellent Wild Atlantic Way sports experience, and provides the visitor the opportunity to engage with the sea," remarked Fiona Monaghan, head of the Wild Atlantic Way programme.

"We've seen first-hand the success of the Greenway in Mayo, which boosted local tourism with over 200,000 visitors last year. As a maritime variant of that iniitiaitve, we hope the Blueway can enjoy the same level of interest from visitors both at home and abroad."

A group chaired Dr Richard Thorn of the Irish Underwater Council that will steer the progrmame comprises representatives from Canoeing Ireland, the Rural Development Programmes of South Mayo, the Leader companies, Comhdhail na Oilean, Forum Connemara, as well as Galway and Mayo County Councils and representation from the Leave no Trace initiative. 

From June to August 9, Blueway Days will take place at the pilot locations to create awareness of the activities on offer. 

 

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