THE HEAD OF Fáilte Ireland Shaun Quinn believes that Ireland’s coastal regions could be worth as much as €2 billion per year if more efforts were made to boost the tourism industry.
He added that it could sustain as many as 80,000 jobs.
His comments were made today at the Our Ocean Wealth conference in Dublin, where Minister Pat Rabbitte also announced measures relating to taxation on oil and gas exploration.
Quinn said that while the current revenue generated by tourism in marine areas is “significant”, it could be ramped up a considerable amount.
However, “ambitious projects of scale” are needed.
“That is why we developed the concept of the Wild Atlantic Way, the longest themed touring route in the world, which evolved from our search for something of scale and singularity,” he told the conference.
He said that foreign markets would be best to target for this expansion, “rather than simply moving leisure euros from Rathfarnham to Rathmullan or from Wicklow to Westport”.
The government has pumped millions into the Wild Atlantic Way with the aim of making it a major European tourist attraction.