New Malin Head Tourism Project

New Malin Head Tourism Project – A Malin Head tourism project has been launched which will see development of a cliff top path and a viewing platform at this iconic visitor attraction. In welcoming guests to the launch of the EU funded marine tourism project at Malin Head, television personality Joe Mahon explained that the INTREERG IVA funded project will enhance, protect and promote the unique environment of Ireland’s most northerly point.

Part of the project works will see the building of passing places along the roads leading to the headland. A disabled viewing access area and cliff top trail will allow the visitor to safely enjoy the fabulous views across to Inishtrahull island and the Scottish isles beyond.

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The aim of the development of facilities at Malin Head is to enhance the visitor experience and increase tourism in the area.

Donegal County Council and Loughs Agency are working together to develop a tourism product that will create many long-term benefits for the local community.

The Malin Head project represents an example of excellent partnership working between Loughs Agency (as lead partner) and Donegal County Council (as project partner). The Loughs Agency plans several other marine tourism and angling development projects funded by a €4 million programme of investment through the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

Speaking at the launch, John Pollock (Acting Chief Executive of the Loughs Agency) highlighted that the Malin Head project presents a fantastic opportunity to enhance the tourism offer at this iconic place. He went on to praise the contribution of local landowners, the wider Malin Head community, Donegal County Council and council staff without whom the project could not have gone ahead. John went on to explain that EU funding has proved an enabler – the finance to match the goodwill of local people, the efforts of council staff and the perseverance of Loughs Agency staff.

Donegal County Council’s Tourism Development Officer commented: “Donegal County Council is delighted to be working with Loughs Agency and the SEUPB in the delivery of this project. The Malin Head project is part of Donegal County Councils ongoing efforts to develop the area as a world-class visitor destination. In addition to the support of the local landowners and Malin Head Community Association, this project is the result of the hard work of the Malin Head Steering Group, chaired by Inishowen Development Partnership”.

It is hoped that the project will complete later this year.

Portsalon twins with Headforth

Portsalon twins with Headforth

Headfort and Portsalon join forces in twinning initiative

Headforth Golf Club in Kells, Co Meath and Portsalon in Co Donegal are to join forces this Friday in a “twinning” of the two golf courses.

Members from Portsalon are travelling down to the Headfort club where the official announcement will be made following a mixed competition.

The twinning of the clubs – which are 140 miles and three hours journey apart – will have benefits for members of both clubs.

Headfort boast two wonderful courses – Headfort New, rated as the best parkland in Leinster and one of the top 10 in Ireland, and Headfort Old an all-time gem, while Portsalon – which is being continually developed under the guidance of Paul McGinley – is a stunning links course which is rated number 27 in the top 100 courses in Ireland by Golf Digest.

Portsalon twins with Headforth
The link up between the clubs will allow members to enjoy the facilities of the other club free of charge should they visit, while members from both clubs can play their respective Open competitions at members’ rates.

Work on the deal between the clubs has been done over the past two years and Headfort marketing convenor John Griffin is delighted with the link-up.

It is a fantastic new benefit for Headfort members and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a links experience in a beauty spot well known to many Headfort members

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Portsalon Golf Club

Technology and Donegal Tourism

Technology and Donegal Tourism
The internet is the most important factor for almost half of overseas travellers who decide to visit Ireland, with seven out of ten relying on the web to plan their visit here. With these findings in mind, Fáilte Ireland this week organised an e-business conference for the North West tourism trade, entitled ‘Your Online Focus – Home and Away’ at the Clarion Hotel, in Sligo.

Among Donegal’s top tourism trade to attend were:
Mandy Lyons, Slieve League Lodge Hostel;
Margaret Storey, Creevy Co-Op;
Myles Gallagher, Sonas B&B;
Don McGonigle, Ballyliffin Hotel;
Brian Deeney, Rathmullan Cottages:
Colm MacPahidin, Donegal Adventure Centre;
Rosemary Ward, The Bluestack Centre;
Marguerite Howley, Castle Murray House Hotel;
Deirdre McGlone, Harvey’s Point Hotel;
Tracey Ferguson, Bundoran Town Council;
John O’Connell and Gemma Farrell, Atlantic Aparthotel.

With trends suggesting that up to 25% of people may soon be booking their accommodation through their mobile phone, the importance of keeping up to date with online technology was emphasised at the conference. A number of online experts from Google and Trip Advisor where on hand to discuss a number of topics including how technology and tourism can be brought closer together so that Irish businesses can sell more effectively to the 21st century tourist both domestic and overseas.

Technology and Donegal Tourism
Emphasising the importance of technology in tourism, Martina Bromley, Head of Operations for Fáilte Ireland in the North West, emphasised:

We were delighted that over 100 delegates from the North West tourism industry attended this Fáilte Ireland conference ranging from hotel managers and marketing managers to owners and proprietors of tourism businesses

To date, Fáilte Ireland has helped over 3,500 small and medium enterprises to plug into their full online potential through our Web Check and e-business training programmes. Just last month we held our first live industry webinar in digital marketing with a second planned on social media in April

We are particularly delighted that this year Trip Advisor took part in the conference. Tourism businesses today are operating in an environment where one in two travellers base their choice for a trip on other people’s experiences and reviews. Ensuring that you are up to speed with online reviewing and how to deal with it must be an integral part of a hotel’s day to day activity.

John McKenna on Donegal Tourism

John McKenna on Donegal Tourism

Top tips for a sustainable tourism industry in Donegal ….

Technology and Tourism in the North West

Technology and Tourism in the North West

Fáilte Ireland’s annual e-business conference event will take place at the Clarion Hotel, Sligo on Tuesday 24th April from 8.00am. This year’s conference, entitled “Your Online Focus – Home and Away”, will explore how technology and tourism can be brought closer together so that tourism businesses in Donegal and the North West can sell more effectively to the 21st century tourist both domestic and overseas.

The internet is the most important factor for almost half of those overseas travellers who decide to visit Ireland with seven out of ten relying on the web to plan their visit here.

Delegates will hear from a number of online experts such as Scott Field, Google who will outline how businesses can make themselves more easily found on Google and the tools that are available to make that happen.

Andrew Weld-Moore, Facebook will examine the benefits of setting up a business page using social networking sites, such as Facebook, and how tourism businesses can optimise their online presence for both domestic and international consumers.

Allister McGregor, Trip Advisor will also be present at the conference to discuss the prominence of customer reviews and how tourism and hospitality businesses can most effectively address issues associated with this enormously powerful and popular review platform.

Breakout sessions including an open house workshop will also take place during the day which will enable attendees to meet with the presenters and discuss their offerings on a one to one basis.
Looking forward to the conference, Mr Stephen Dudley, Fáilte Ireland’s E-business Manager, emphasised:

The majority of travellers now research, plan and book their holidays through the internet with many spending hours visiting a number of websites before making a decision. It is imperative for tourism businesses to engage with new technology and ensure that they online and ready for business. We are particularly delighted that this year Trip Advisor is taking part in the conference. Ensuring that you are up to speed with online reviewing and how to deal with it must be an integral part of a tourism business’ day to day activity.

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Fall in Tourist Numbers in late 2011

Tourism Ireland today launched its brand new global advertising campaign – Jump into Ireland – to promote the country overseas over the next three years.

The campaign will be featured on television in the UK – the country’s largest and most important tourism market. The new ads will also be broadcast on French and German television as well as in cinemas in the UK, US, Spain and Italy.

An online ad campaign will also be launched in the other 22 markets in which Tourism Ireland has a presence.

Tourism Ireland’s chief executive Niall Gibbons said the group is targeting further growth in 2012 and its goal is to welcome over 9 million visitors to the island of Ireland by 2015, exceeding the record year for tourism of 2007.

Travel figures fell late last year

Official figures show a fall in the number of people travelling to Ireland between September and November, though visitor numbers for the year so far are still ahead of last year.

The Central Statistics Office said there were just over 1.5 million trips made to Ireland in the three-month period, down 4.1% or 65,300 compared with the same period a year earlier.

Visits from Britain – Ireland’s biggest tourism market – were down 2%, while trips from North America fell 11.7%. Visits from other European countries were down 2.9% compared with the same period last year.

For the first 11 months of the year, foreign trips to Ireland are up 6.8% – or 380,100 – to just over six million.

Late last month, the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation estimated that overseas visitors to Ireland increased by 7% in 2011 – the first increase in four years. Tourism body Fáilte Ireland is due to give its estimate later this week.

Meanwhile, Irish people made 58,700 fewer trips abroad from September to November – a drop of 3.9% to just over three million. For the first 11 months of 2011, Irish travel abroad fell by 4% to 5.98 million.

This article appeared in RTE Business News

New Tourism Signs for Inishowen

This article by Caoimhinn Barr appeared in

Related Inishowen Tourism News > Using Technology to Promote Inishowen

A €210,000 scheme will see more than 200 new signs erected along the Inis Eoghain 100 tourist trail next year.

The route, which is actually 101 miles long, will be boosted by 201 bright new markers, pointing to 59 attractions across the peninsula from Burt Castle in the south to Bamba’s Crown at Malin Head in the far north.

To complete the ambitious project, the Inis Eoghain 100 will be broken into fifteen segments, each beginning and ending at an attraction identified by Discover Ireland. The Gaelic name of the peninsula will be used to be clear, concise and in keeping with Irish language regulations.

A consistent new Inis Eoghain logo will be used on all the signs, which will begin at the traditional route starting point of Bridgend. Driving clockwise around the peninsula, attractions are signed and numbered in the order that they are encountered by motorists.

The scheme is designed to encourage visitors to the peninsula to explore more and dwell longer at an increased number of attractions. The signs will highlight localised attractions and point to others, giving distance information.

The new markers will also be consistent with other visitor information sources, pointing to attractions promoted by Inishowen Tourism and Discover Ireland.

The attractions that will be signed under the new programme include 6 castles, 13 prehistoric monuments, 1 church, I mature reserve, 3 museum, 1 cottage, 7 viewpoints, 9 walking trails, 14 beaches, 3 picnic areas and 1 tourist office.

Attractions to be freshly signed include, among many others: Inch Castle, O’Doherty’s Keep, Bocan Stone Circles, Cooley Cross, Lecamy Sweat House, Malin Well, Straid Church, Inishowen Maritime Museum, Glenevin Waterfall, Ned’s Point, Swan Park and The White Strand Bay.

The extensive project will require €182,000 for 201 signs and a further €28,000 for design, tender and supervision costs. It is expected that all works will be completed within the 2012 financial year.

Things to do in Donegal

Global Irish Homecoming in 2013

Hopefully, County Donegal and other western counties are set for an upsurge in tourist numbers leading up to 2013.

A global Irish “homecoming” which has been billed as the biggest tourism initiative ever staged in Ireland has been unveiled.

The Gathering will be a year-long event in 2013 and the Government is anticipating it will attract as many as 325,000 extra visitors into Ireland.

Such a spike in visitor numbers would add another €220 million to the Irish economy.

Unveiling the Gathering at the Global Irish Forum in Dublin Castle, the Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar described it as an “invitation to the world to come and join in Ireland’s renewal”.

The initiative has come from Fáilte Ireland, whose chief executive Shaun Quinn has described it as a “compelling vehicle” to tap into the wider Irish diaspora.

Every town and village in Ireland will be asked to participate in the Gathering which will be aimed first of all at the Irish diaspora, then people with an interest in Ireland and people at home.

A renewed interest in Irish roots, particularly following the publication of the 1901 and 1911 censuses, will also be accommodated during the Gathering.

The Gathering will be organised around a series of festivals, both existing and new.

County and city managers will be the key enablers for the programme supported by Fáilte Ireland’s destination project managers and regional teams.

The programme will be formally launched on St Patrick’s Day and a number of special events will take place at that time leveraging high-profile people from Ireland.

There will be a strong emphasis on promoting the event through social media with a view to creating a buzz about the events.

Tourism Ireland will lead the promotion of the Gathering abroad while Fáilte Ireland will promote it at home.

Former Irish diplomat Dr Tim O’Connor will chair the board overseeing the event.

He said: “In order to succeed. the Gathering will be the last word in joined-up thinking. It will require the input of every agency and every parish and its success is ultimately down to us.”

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