Údarás na Gaeltachta have announced support worth €120,000 today (3/5/18) for the development of strategic tourism projects in the Galway Gaeltacht. Under the Tourism Management Development Scheme approved by the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta in June 2017 support has been granted for two tourism initiatives in Conamara – Cósta Gaelach Chonamara agus Árann agus Ionad Cuimhneacháin na nImirceach i gCarna.
The grant support of €60,000 over a two year period approved for each of these strategic tourism projects will assist them in creating a post so as to enhance project development, marketing and operational management capabilities. Both projects are currently recruiting and both initiatives have announced contract positions today.
Support under the scheme is being announced as follows for these two individual projects in Co. Galway:
Cósta Gaelach Chonamara & Árann
To support the strengthening of the tourism sector in the Conamara Gaeltacht and in spreading the economic, cultural and employment benefits that result throughout the whole area. There will be a focus on the region’s natural, linguistic, cultural, environmental and heritage resources.
Cósta Gaelach Chonamara agus Árann is being established as a company limited by guarantee and the establishing committee members have a broad and extensive experience of the tourism industry in Conamara. The project consists of a marketing and business development group based on the ‘Cósta Chonamara’ model that functioned successfully in Conamara in the nineties and they hope to assist in the enhancing and strengthening the cultural tourism industry in Conamara. Among the groups main objectives are to market the region as a whole as a tourism ‘destination’, to increase the number of Gaeltacht tourist bednights, support local groups to develop new initiatives and to work with stakeholders to improve tourist facilities.
Ionad Cuimhneachán na nImirceach, Carna
To support the Emigrants Centre to display and provide an account of emigration from Conamara and the imprint it left on the area as well as developing this project for the economic, social and cultural benefit of the area. It is an objective of the initiative to develop a quality heritage and cultural tourism project in Carna.
Significant progress has been made by the committee developing this project over the last number of years. Construction work on the centre commenced in August 2017 and the official opening will be performed by the Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh on the 12 May 2018. It is hoped that this projects impact will be evident in the businesses and local services of the area. Ionad Cuimhneacháin na nImirceach (Emigrants Commemorative Centre) is an important initiative for the Wild Atlantic Way and will give visitors an indication of the role and impact of emigration on the west coast.
An open call towards the end of 2017 invited applications from strategic Gaeltacht tourism initiatives for the Tourism Management Development Scheme. The successful initiatives may use this support in relation to development, marketing and operational management capabilities according to the project’s requirements and development stage. A formal training programme for officers will also be established in conjunction with third level institutes.
Údarás na Gaeltachta CEO Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh said “We are delighted to be in a position to provide funding support for another two strategic Gaeltacht tourism initiatives today under our Tourism Management Development Scheme. Tourism development is central to Údarás na Gaeltachta’s strategy over the next three years and it is very important to us to develop this management resource and to ensure that the appropriate essential skills for the management of tourism projects are developed and available in Gaeltacht areas.”