Independent Councillor, Joe Conway, said this week that Waterford and Wexford possessed an untapped source of tourism revenue of a type that was generating almost €400m each year in Devon and Cornwall.
The Tramore-based representative said a coastal path had been created in Devon and Cornwall and it was attracting thousands of visitors, winter and summer, from all over the world. The South West Coast Path was the UK’s most popular National Trail and was listed as one of the world’s greatest walks by Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2009.
The coastline of Waterford and Wexford was very similar, pointed out Councillor Conway, and, if a pathway was created, visitors would pour in through the port of Rosslare and Waterford Regional Airport. Hotels, guest houses and restaurants would benefit enormously, he said.
“We have a natural resource that other countries and other regions would give their eye-teeth for, yet it is not being utilised”, he declared. “If we added a safe, well constructed coastal path to what we already have, it would be a runaway success and our visitor income and numbers would soar”, he predicted.
Councillor Conway raised the subject last week at a special session of the South Eastern Regional Authority in Carlow. The meeting was called to give members an opportunity to review and amend the Planning Guidelines for the South East Region 2010-2022.
“It would be almost criminally neglectful if we, as an Authority, did not give recognition and status to a coastal path in the guidelines”, he asserted.
Councillor Conway told The Munster Express he was convinced the region’s tourism revenue would be seriously raised, creating profits and jobs, through the provision of such an amenity.