The recent launch of two new driving routes branching off the Wild Atlantic Way could transform Clare’s tourism industry, according to Fine Gael TD Joe Carey.

The Burren Drive and Shannon Estuary Drive are being developed as part of a Fáilte Ireland pilot scheme to encourage visitors to discover the variety of inland visitor experiences as they travel along the Wild Atlantic Way. This new initiative will help us plan for a more even spread of visitors across the Mid-West and the West of Ireland,” Deputy Carey explained.

The Burren Drive is located in an established tourist area which is starting to be challenged with congestion during the peak season, most notably on the stretch from Liscannor to Doolin.  The new route will help reduce traffic congestion, support best practice in visitor management and present additional tourism experiences for visitors.

The Shannon Estuary Drive will see a route provided from Kilimer on the Wild Atlantic Way, onwards to Labasheeda, Kildysart, Ballynacally, Clarecastle, Newmarket-On-Fergus, Bunratty and on to Limerick and Foynes to join up again with the Wild Atlantic Way. It is being developed in conjunction with Clare County Council and Limerick City and County Council with regular progress reports being provided to Minister Patrick O’Donovan in his role as Minister for Tourism.

“Clare is performing exceptionally well in the tourism stakes and local businesses have benefitted from the ongoing development of the Wild Atlantic Way; the retention of the 9 per cent VAT rate for the hospitality industry and, most importantly, the growth of Shannon airport as an independent entity.

“World famous attractions like the Cliffs of Moher and the Bunratty Folk Park continue to attract significant visitor numbers and, with the growth of the active holiday market, these new touring routes could transform the county’s tourism industry,“ Deputy Carey concluded.

Caption: Joe Carey discussing the new touring routes with Paul Connole at Fanore Beach.