There was terrific interest in the Waterford Greenway at the 2018 Holiday World Expo held in Dublin’s RDS, which attracted 40,000 visitors over the weekend.
Many visitors came to the Waterford stand, complementing the Greenway route.
There is also a great willingness to return to the Greenway and bring more visitors along with them, so repeat business is guaranteed.
The success of the Waterford Greenway has led to other issues or shall we say problems of success.
There is a demand for additional hotel rooms, guest house accommodation and places to eat.
This issue has been highlighted during the year in Dungarvan but also now in Waterford city and elsewhere.
Getting more accommodation on stream has to be a priority. In the past there were many guest houses run by families (in the 70s, for example) but the higher cost of labour, is making the guest house business model more difficult unless done mainly by family members.
Mella Fahey of Lismore Heritage Centre explained how her family had a bed and breakfast but is harder these days and doing self catering can be an easier option.
More signage in Waterford city for the Greenway was commented upon also and getting the start nearer the city in Bilberry will be an advantage: some visitors found its starting point hard to find.
Having a location for camper vans would also be welcome, but this has proven controversial in the past in locations like Dunmore East.
Camper van owners for example in Dungarvan now have to stay in pub or restaurant car parks as an alternative, where they spend some money.
There were camper van stands at the show in the RDS this year, for hire or sale and this is a growing market for the older tourist.
This is the second year of the Waterford Greenway’s operation and there were many visitors giving positive feedback.