Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan recently unveiled the route for the Shannon Estuary Drive – the first in what is hoped to be a series of drives which will be developed by Fáilte Ireland in collaboration with local stakeholders to encourage visitors to discover the variety of inland visitor experiences as they travel along the Wild Atlantic Way. The Shannon Estuary is a large tidal estuary on the west coast of Ireland where Ireland’s longest river – the Shannon joins the Atlantic Ocean.
Welcoming the initiative to broaden visitor activity in the Mid-West, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport and Limerick County T.D. Patrick O’Donovan said –
“The Shannon Estuary Way new visitor experience provides a significant opportunity for Limerick and Ennis, as gateway towns to the Wild Atlantic Way, and will open up the region’s inland hinterland to visitors as well as support the strong local accommodation base and variety of visitor attractions and services along the route.
“As the Wild Atlantic Way continues to grow, we can now start to develop additional experiences for visitors to enjoy and, through initiatives like this, we can start to develop tourism activity which ensures a greater spread of visitors across the West of Ireland.”
A brand new visitor friendly map of the Shannon Estuary route has now been designed and printed to promote the locality’s key visitor experiences, attractions, towns and villages. The map is now ready for distribution to local businesses and tourist information offices for the 2017 summer season. The map will also be available in key accommodation hubs and all major attractions along the route and will be published on www.wildatlanticway.com
The Shannon Estuary drive is a looped route of approximately 207km (135 miles) and incorporates the following locations:
• Limerick City
Fáilte Ireland’s Head of the Wild Atlantic Way, Fiona Monaghan emphasised –
“While the Wild Atlantic Way continues to thrive in terms of visitor numbers and awareness, we need to ensure we continue to develop and build on it – and use its growing appeal to spread tourism activity into as many parts as possible. Initiatives such as the Shannon Estuary Way will do just that and encourage tourists to broaden their visit beyond the coastal touring route – enhancing the experience in a way which will benefit visitors and local communities alike.”
The next steps for the project include the development of a navigation and viewing point strategy developed in collaboration with key stakeholders.