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11/08/2014 - Tourism Activity in Donegal Delivering Tangible County Wide Results


Donegal County Council continue their commitment to delivering tangible results as part of their new strategy to promote tourism in Donegal. Tourism has been identified as having huge potential to bring about economic and social regeneration throughout the county. Donegal County Council in partnership with Failte Ireland through Donegal Tourism Ltd, and a wide range tourism providers in the county continue to work on collaborative projects to develop the tourism product and to capitalise on the marketing activities presented by the Wild Atlantic Way initiative.


Seamus Neely, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council stated that “working together we are now presented with a wonderful opportunity to gain a much stronger market share of tourism in Ireland, which will benefit the local economy. Donegal is one of Ireland’s most beautiful, rugged and unspoiled tourism destinations and our vision is to promote Donegal as a world class tourism destination of excellence”.



Enhancing the Wild Atlantic Way


Donegal County Council has been working with Failte Ireland to fund the conservation and development of some of the county’s most popular attractions. With additional investment from the EU INTERREG IVA programme excellent infrastructural work is taking place to enhance visitor facilities at Sliabh Liag and Malin Head, with work to commence on Fanad Lighthouse which are three main Signature  Points on the Wild Atlantic Way in the county that will see a constant growth in visitor numbers in coming years.



Nature at its Best


The Inch & Foyle Wildfowl Project aims to deliver two world-class visitor and outdoor recreation attractions at Inch Wildfowl Reserve at Inch Levels. Work is ongoing at Fanad Lighthouse where two interpretative panels have now been installed at the Harry Blaney Bridge and Fanad Lighthouse car park. At Ards Forest Park DCC are commissioned Ireland’s first architectural installation in a forest park in conjunction with Coillte, the Irish Architecture Foundation and the Earagail Arts Festival.



Outdoors and Active


There has been a huge increase in the number of visitors who are looking for the perfect outdoor adventure holiday and Donegal is ideally placed to target the adventure seeker market. Donegal County Council are continuing to develop walking and cycling trails across the county and are considering the conversion of Donegal’s disused railway tracks for this purpose. For visitors who wish to take part in watersports activities in Donegal, the announcement of funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is welcome news. This funding will be used to develop pontoons and access gangways at Teelin, Mountcharles and Greencastle Piers providing visitors with safe and secure access to our waters.


Harnessing the Power of the Web


Tourism in Donegal is promoted through a variety of online channels including websites and social media networks. The Donegal Gathering website continues to grow in terms of traffic and is updated with fresh new content regularly and lists a comprehensive calendar of Donegal events. The Go Visit Donegal website is going from strength to strength with Google Analytics showing an increase of over 200% on visitor numbers this year compared with 2013. is also proving to be a very successful website in promoting marine tourism in Donegal with a growth in traffic of over 50% in the first quarter of 2014. A new website and Facebook page have been developed for by Donegal Tourism Ltd to showcase the best of local accommodation, pubs, restaurants, attractions and much more in and around the Killybegs area.



Reaching Target Audiences


A number of high profile advertising campaigns both online and offline continue to increase Donegal brand awareness with extensive radio coverage, a UTV ad, featuring on the TV3 events guide Donegal Tourism Ltd continue to reach a wider target audience. Billboards showcasing Donegal were displayed at the Common Wealth Games in Glasgow where over 1m visitors passed through the city during the event. Advertisements were placed on Dublin Buses throughout July. The new Donegal Brochure will shortly be completed and contains imagery that perfectly frames the beauty of Donegal and also holds the latest information on what is on offer.



Sail West with MalinWaters


The Sail West EU INTERREG IVA project launched in 2010 continues to develop with the MalinWaters brand reaching markets across Europe and beyond. MalinWaters has a new digital focus with website optimisation, social and e-mail marketing, display and PPC all playing an important role in raising awareness of the brand. MalinWaters supported a number of strategic events this year including Sea Sessions where the brand was promoted extensively during the event. The MalinWaters brand promotes marine tourism in partner regions of North West Ireland, Western Scotland and Northern Ireland. This is a strong partnership collaboration and there are very positive plans for the future of the project.



Connecting with the Diaspora


The Donegal Diaspora project continues to reap rewards for Donegal as a resource for the economic, social and cultural development of the county. The project allows for connections between Donegal and its Diaspora world wide to develop skills and networks and to share resources and experience. Funding from Donegal County Council, Failte Ireland and IPB Insurance have allowed for the achievements in tourism following The Gathering 2013 to foster the many links with the Diaspora, which is founded on the basis that relationships exist between ‘people and places’.



Donegal’s Premier Digital Marketing Conference


Donegal County Council in association with Failte Ireland and Donegal Tourism Ltd has announced that ‘Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way’ conference is coming to Donegal. This cutting edge digital marketing conference will be held on Thursday 25th September 2014 in County Donegal.  ‘Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way’ is an innovative conference and the first to blend digital marketing activities with promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way touring route in Donegal. With an expert panel from Facebook, Google and other leading digital agencies, plus practical case studies, this conference is definitely one for your diary.





All media queries can be directed to Caroline Britton of Donegal County Council





Sail West Project


The Sail West Project is a marine tourism initiative, which will develop infrastructure along the coast from County Donegal to County Down, and along the West coast of Scotland.


The objectives of the Project are:


  • To provide a cohesive marine leisure development strategy for the North West which links Donegal, the maritime counties of Northern Ireland and the West coast of Scotland


  • To provide innovation in the development of new products and services


  • To share knowledge and best practice between partners


  • To provide sustainable development, job growth and the rejuvenation of maritime communities


  • To ensure that environmental best practice and the possible effects of global climate change is considered within all new developments


  • To encourage eco tourism





The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IV designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote



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