More than €1.5m to push Fingal tourism

by Gazette Reporter

FINGAL County Council is embarking on a major mission over the next few years to promote Fingal as a tourist destination.
It is hoped that attracting more tourists to the area will help to stimulate the local economy.
More than €1.5m in extra funding has been allocated to tourism initiatives in the council’s budget for 2015.
This extra funding will be divided among three key projects, including €1m for a long-term sustainable project identified for Swords Castle and its surrounds. This area will be known as Swords Cultural Quarter.
Some €200,000 has been provided for investigative and restoration works to the roof at Malahide Castle, and €300,000 has been provided for the development of a new restaurant and admissions office at Newbridge House and Farm.
Along with this, €328,300 is provided in Budget 2015 to support Fingal Tourism and to produce the Flavours of Fingal County Show 2015 and other tourism initiatives.
In addition, €11,000 is also provided for the Community Tourism Diaspora fund, which builds on the achievements of The Gathering in 2013.
Paul Reid, chief executive of Fingal County Council, said: “We are putting an extra €1.5m into different line items between Swords, Malahide and Newbridge that was not invested last year. In the total package, we are putting much more into tourism in Fingal than we have ever put before.”
Aside from these allocations in the budget, Fingal County Council is working with Fingal Tourism to prepare a review of the tourism industry in the county and to come up with a new action plan for tourism to run from 2015 to 2018.
Part of this tourism review includes a short online survey inviting the opinions, experience and ideas of residents, employees, tourism businesses and any other stakeholders involved in tourism in Fingal.
Feedback from the survey will supplement other work taking place with stakeholders and community leaders to help Fingal be part of the wider Dublin tourist experience.
To encourage a good level of response, every person who completes the survey will be entered into a draw for one of six €100 One4All vouchers.
Reid said: “The outcome of this strategy will determine how much further funds we may or may not have to inject into tourism in Fingal.”
Ethna Felten, head of economic development services with Fingal County Council, said: “The tourism strategy for 2015 to 2018 will set out a pathway for tourism businesses, local communities, event promoters, service providers and hospitality experts to co-operate in providing, marketing and developing the tourism industry towards recovery and into the future.
“Every opinion is valuable; nobody has a monopoly on good ideas and this survey welcomes all input.”
Those interested in taking part in the survey can do so at www.surveymonkey.com/s/Tourismstrategyfingal.

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