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Taoiseach launches new Greenway adventure trail

Taoiseach launches new Greenway adventure trail

Áine Ryan

GREENWAY Adventures, a tourism initiative spawned by the Great Western Greenway, was launched in Westport yesterday (Monday) by Taoiseach Enda Kenny. It comprises a network of 11 Mayo-based adventure tourism providers who have established the county’s first adventure trail. The initiative hopes to attract some of the $89 billion global adventure market to Mayo. The trail offers a broad collection of family and extreme adventure activities, including rock- climbing, abseiling, wind and kite surfing, paddle-boarding, as well as fishing, sailing, hiking, walking and equestrian pursuits.
Launching Greenway Adventures, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “I am delighted to wish Greenway Adventures well with this great addition to Mayo’s tourism offering. Tourism will play a key role in Ireland’s recovery. The development of innovative tourism products which exploit the country’s natural advantages, such as adventure tourism, can tap into a significant potential market.”
Earlier, Taoiseach Kenny officially opened the Gold Leaf Café, at the state-of-the-art Connacht Gold DIY and Garden Centre in Westport. 
One of the developers of the Greenway Adventures project, Dermot Madigan, of Mulranny Park Hotel, observed that it ‘makes sense to harness many of western Mayo’s adventure sports providers into one brand to promote adventure tourism’ in the county, and, moreover, to ‘take advantage of a sector that offers huge potential’.
“The Greenway Adventures trail will complement the Great Western Greenway route as it already includes areas for safe surfing, kayaking and guided boat trips. As the only hotel situated on the Greenway, it offers us a fantastic tourism opportunity to market a point of difference and we believe that the Greenway Adventures trail will be just as successful as the Gourmet Greenway food trail has proven to be,” Mr Madigan said.
According to Fáilte Ireland, 26 per cent  of the global travelling population is now classified in the adventure travel category with adventure travel resilient to the global recession and increasing 17 per cent annually. The average adventure travel tourist spends 45 per cent more than the standard overseas visitor, stays for up to two weeks, is aged between 35 and 42 years and evenly split male to female.
Fáilte Ireland’s, Brian Quinn said that ‘tourist boards all around the world have more than doubled their emphasis on adventure tourism in the last year’.
A Greenway Adventures guide featuring a map, information and contact details for all 11 members,  including GPS coordinates, is available from Mulranny Park Hotel, tourism offices and adventure tourism providers.

Greenway Adventures members
THE Greenway Adventures members are: Mulranny Walking Guides, Clew Bay Bike Hire, Saoirse na Mara Sea Kayaking, Blackfield Surf School, Clew Bay Angling, Pure Magic (kitesurfing & paddle boarding), Bellagragher Bay Boat Club (traditional and high-speed sailing), Calvey’s Equestrian, Rock le Tomas (rock-climbing, abseiling), Professional Coaching Services (windsurfing) and Surf Mayo.

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