Collaboration is key to the success of an exciting walking and recreational trails project at eight locations across Europe, where Donegal County council is the lead partner, a workshop heard this week.
On Tuesday, 25th January, the Trail Gazers Project in Donegal held an on-line Business and Tourism Professionals Workshop with key business stakeholders and tourism professionals to develop a set of key actions to enhance the capitalisation of the trail at Inch Wildfowl Reserve and link it with the wider tourism offering in the surrounding catchment of south Inishowen, Co. Donegal.
The goal of involvement in this workshop for SMEs and tourism was as follows:
During the online workshop, Mary Daly, Communications and Research Officer for Trail Gazers, presented an overview of the project, its key outputs and initial analysis from the on-site Trail Users Surveys which were carried out during last summer at Inch and how this information will help to inform the Business to Consumer initiatives locally.
Catherine McLaughlin, Planner on the Trail Gazers Project outlined some of the emerging development options for Inch Wildfowl Reserve and the surrounding catchment area.
The Atlantic Area Trail Gazers Project includes trails in spectacular locations from Donegal to the Canary Islands. The project aims to determine the impact of significant investment which has been made over the years into developing walking and recreational trails across the Atlantic Area on sustaining rural communities and will explore innovative ways that this impact can be enhanced.
Trail Gazers is situated in eight pilot trail sites in 'Chemin De Mémoires', in Bretagne, France; ‘Via Verde del Plazola' in Navarra, Spain; 'La Caldera de Taburiente’ on the Canary Island of Las Palma; the 'Seven Hanging Valleys' in the Algarve, Portugal; 'Sacred Mountain' in Viana do Castelo, Northern Portugal; the ‘Taff Trail’ in West Wales and the Valleys; the ‘Knocknarea/Killaspugbrone loop ‘ in Sligo and 'Inch Levels’ in Donegal.
Project Manager for Trail Gazers, Mary McBride from Donegal County Council said after the workshop "in light of restrictions being lifted nationally, the timing of this workshop was so relevant and the amount of progress made on the development of key initiatives was very important. It is vitally important to get feedback and suggestions from all the participants particularly those in business and tourism."
Trail Gazers is co-financed by the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme through the European Regional Development Fund.