Business on the Wild Atlantic Way?

On Thursday 8th of September 2016 Ulster bank in partnership with Independent News & Media organised free seminar on the future of Wild Atlantic Way in the beautiful Lissadell House.  Lissadell house provided amazing food and drinks that are served daily in the house (we really recommend a visit).

Lissadell House and Gardens

The speakers talked about the influence Wild Atlantic Way have in the Northwest of Ireland. The seminar was aimed at everybody interested in making the most of the Wild Atlantic Way project, especially for businesses that could benefit from and influence the success of this project.

       Wild Atlantic Way - Art print by Gary Reddin


Fiona Monaghan

Head of Wild Atlantic Way from Failte Ireland started the event with the key information about the history, purpose and future plans of the Wild Atlantic Way (WAW). The WAW is one of the longest defined coastal routes in the world. It stretches along the Atlantic coast from Donegal to West Cork

The aim of this project is to increase visibility and interest among overseas tourist markets. Fiona was discussing the effects of recession and how this initiative focuses on bringing business to the west. The tourism sector is the one we can build on and with the beautiful scenery everywhere around us; we have a lot to offer to many people around the world. Failte Ireland is launching new initiative this Monday promoting late season getaways and Streedagh beach was chosen as the key hero image they have chosen, so keep an eye out.

John Brennans

Managing director at Park Hotel Kenmare, talk was very enjoyable, fun and informative. John told us Sligo has the same potential for tourism as Kerry, but the community also needs to take initiative and ownership. John also highlighted the importance of proper signage on roads leading towards interesting places and businesses. "It is hard to bring more tourists to locations if they do not know about them" John said. His idea of making Sligo a central place along the Northwest due to its strategic location between beautiful Donegal and Mayo was very well received by the audience.

Paul Keyes

The CEO of Sligo Chamber, highlighted the importance and need of cooperation and involvement from County Council that would help drive more tourists to Sligo county. 

David McGowan

Owner of Quirky Nights Glamping Village in Enniscrone delivered very interesting and entertaining talk.

David shared with us his story, how he grew up in Enniscrone in a family that had run three businesses, as that was needed if you wanted to provide for your family in a town of 300 people. He told us how he went off to study mortuary science in Boston and after graduating refused very promising career overseas as his heart was in the west of Ireland. He was determined to give back to the community over here and established himself as one of the best mortuary specialists in and outside of Ireland. His outside the box thinking and great ideas got him, Enniscrone, Sligo and Ireland in news headlines around the globe. He shared interesting statistics about the employment increase in Enniscrone that his Glamping idea already provided and proved us that bold actions, vision and determination deliver great results that benefit all businesses in the area.

David McGowan 

The seminar was closed with Chief Economist Simon Barry who shared with us the latest economic trends that influence tourism. He also discussed the uncertainty that still remains among economist due to Brexit.

From right: Fiona Monaghan, Paul Keyes, David McGowan, John Brennan, Simon Barry and Colm Kelpie - Senior Business Correspondent Independent News & Media

We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of people that came and took part in this seminar. It clearly represents that the community is willing to work together, share ideas and maximase the benefits that come with still relatively new Wild Atlantic Way project.