Commenting on the release of the 2017 Tourism figures for Co. Roscommon launched by Failte Ireland, Senator Maura Hopkins stated, “It is very positive that 54,000 overseas tourists visted Co. Roscommon in 2017. This marks a small increase on tourists visiting in 2016. These visits were worth in excess of €27 million in revenue for the local economy.”

“However, it is very clear that there is a significant scope to further expand the tourism market locally. There remains an untapped potential in the tourism sector within our county. The sector has the potential to provide a huge economic boost for the county.”

“The recently launched ‘Irelands Hidden Heartlands’ brand will be central to growing the local tourism market. I have been emphasising strongly both to representatives in Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and to Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Brendan Griffin TD that adequate funding needs to be provided if this midlands brand is to be successful in attracting tourists and benefitting our local economy.” 

“Fantastic work has been done to develop tourist sites such as Rathcroghan near Tulsk, Lough Key Forest in Boyle, Clonalis House, Strokestown Park House and Arigna Mining Experience among many others. It is essential that these sites are giving a proper platform as part of this new brand.”

 

“Central to the new brand will be the Beara Brefine Way, a serious of walking trails which run from Co. Cork to Co. Cavan through East Galway and Roscommon. Locally, the route will link the Miners Way near Arigna, the Hymany Way in Galway and the Suck Valley Way in Roscommon. This route showcases the great diversity in the Irish landscape with rugged coastlines, bogs, woodlands, riverbanks, rolling farmland and picturesque villages.”

 

Senator Hopkins concluded, “The further development of the tourism market for Roscommon and the wider region has the potential to provide a massive economic benefit for the County. It is positive that our numbers are growing and I am conscious that we will have to wait for the 2018 and 2019 figures before we understand the impact of the new tourism brand.”