A new Celtic Routes project aims to encourage visitors to explore new areas of South East Ireland and West Wales while en route to their final tourist destination.

The project brings together local authorities in Wicklow, Wexford and Waterford with colleagues in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion in Wales.

It hopes to transform less well-known areas from transit zones to new touring sites, increasing the time visitors spend in these regions and capitalising on the opportunities to boost local economies.

“The project will focus on a tailored and targeted marketing and promotional campaign to entice our main markets and visitor profile to ‘Discover Your Celtic Routes’”

The project – which was launched recently in Wales – has been developed through customer research, trade events and workshops as well as cross border visits by businesses in Ireland and Wales to bring together expertise and ideas.

The objective is to increase the visitor appeal of the targeted areas, including through the development of new trails linking local culture, heritage and the natural environment. The Celtic Routes project will run until December 2020.

A Brexit-proof initiative

Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Cllr Michael Sheehan said the initiative was supported by the three Irish local authorities and three in Wales.

“The project will focus on a tailored and targeted marketing and promotional campaign to entice our main markets and visitor profile to ‘Discover Your Celtic Routes,’” Cllr Sheehan said.

The underlying aim of the Celtic Routes project was to convert potential visitors transiting through our cities into staying visitors.

Another objective was to increase sustainable economic developments by maximising visitor spend, income retention, adding value to the combined tourism offerings within the region through a tailored marketing and promotional campaign for both visitors and tourism providers, supported by the three Local Authorities.

Tom Enright, chief executive of Wexford County Council, said funding of €1.9m for the Celtic Routes project was provided under the European Territorial Co-Operation Programme – known as Interreg or the Ireland/Wales Fund. This funding will not be affected by Brexit.

“This project is directed by co-operation – both between the project partners, between local authorities and State agencies, and with all tourism providers – from glamping and camping, dining and dancing, experiences and escapades,” Enright added.

Pictured(above): Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Cllr Michael Sheehan, chatting with uillean piper Padraig Sinnott and Minister of State, Mr Andrew Doyle, TD, at the launch of the Celtic Routes project in Enniscorthy

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 27 November, 2019

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