Local communities set to benefit from Shannon Estuary Way

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Launching the Shannon Estuary Way viewing point at Glin Pier were Mayor Michael Collins, Caitriona Scully of West Limerick Resources, Minister of State Patrick Donovan and Siobhan King,F‡ilte Ireland. Photo: Diarmuid Greene

LOCAL communities and businesses on the Shannon Estuary Way are to benefit from a year long Destination Development Programme to help boost economic growth for the rural communities along the newly launched tourist route.

Developed by Fáilte Ireland, in conjunction with the Limerick and Clare local authorities, the 207km Shannon Estuary Way is set to become a key tourist attraction for the Mid West Region.

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It is the first in a series of Wild Atlantic Way looped drives aimed at increasing visitor ‘dwell time’ and spend in local communities. The scenic and unspoilt coastlines of Limerick and Clare takes visitors through the picturesque towns and villages, heritage sites and many top rated visitor attractions.

The initial development programme facilitated communities on both sides of the Shannon Estuary to come together to create a vision for the new route and harvest the rich heritage and history in each of the areas, under the concept of ‘big skies and sheltered waters’.

This new destination development project represents the second phase of development for the Shannon Estuary Way and is specifically designed to support the local communities in leveraging the route to deliver positive economic benefits for their local communities and to position the drive as a key tourist offering in the Mid West.

The project is a joint initiative between West Limerick Resources and Clare Local Development Company and has been funded through the LEADER programme. The programme is being delivered by leading Irish tourism consultants, The Tourism Space, who also facilitated phase one of the training programme in 2019.

Managing Director Tina O’Dwyer said the programme was designed to bring solid, tangible benefits to both businesses and communities along The Shannon Estuary Way.

“The purpose is to foster collaboration and also build capacity, so that the people and places of the Estuary can make the most out of this new tourism opportunity, ” she explained.

“The stories, heritage and way of life of The Shannon Estuary Way are truly distinctive and largely undiscovered. There is a great appetite now amongst visitors to be able to connect with nature, engage with local people and uncover the real stories of a place.

“Throw in the chance of adventure on land and water and the Shannon Estuary Way is well positioned to capitalise on the recovery in Irish tourism”.

The training programme is scheduled to begin early next month with businesses and communities along the Shannon Estuary Way encouraged to participate.

Further information is available from the Tourism Space by emailing [email protected]