Fáilte Ireland explores ‘Viking Coast’ proposition
Tourism body planning feasibility study to diversify Ireland’s Ancient East offering
The island of Skellig Michael on the Wild Atlantic Way. Fáilte Ireland wants to repeat its west coast success elsewhere by developing ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’. Photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan
Fáilte Ireland is looking to diversify its Ireland’s Ancient East offering and is planning on exploring a “Viking Coast” proposition to attract tourists to the south-east of the country.
In a contract which could be worth around €50,000, the national tourism development authority has called for companies to register their interest in order to conduct a feasibility study to establish whether the Viking coast idea would become a “world-class visitor experience for the coastal counties of the Ireland’s Ancient East geography”.
Recently posted tender documents suggest that if the experience is one that might be feasible, the study should go on to recommend how the Viking Coast can be harnessed into a “coherent year-round tourism offering”.
The building of the Ancient East brand comes after Fáilte Ireland successfully marketed the Wild Atlantic Way concept which was launched in 2014 following a €10 million capital investment.
At that time, Fáilte Ireland suggested that touring routes were “increasingly seen as a powerful regional economic development tool for rural areas” that can “deliver additional jobs and grow the local economy”.
Earlier this month, Tourism Ireland said that 2017 has been the “best year ever” for overseas tourism to Ireland with around 10.65 million visitors generating roughly €5.78 billion in revenue.
That success comes against a backdrop of declining tourist numbers from Britain as the fall in the value of sterling has pushed up the price of holidays for British visitors. While a 5.2 per cent fall in UK visitor numbers was recorded between January and November this year, overall the figures had increased by 3.7 per cent on the same 11-month period in 2016.