Waterford Greenway shortlisted for All Ireland title in Croke Park

WaterfordGreenway3Waterford’s All Ireland title hopes are very much alive as the county’s stunning Greenway has been shortlisted in the coveted All Ireland Community and Council Awards, to be held in Croke Park next month.

As the Waterford Greenway edges towards its 1st birthday on 25th March, Waterford City and County Council has confirmed that the 46km off-road cycling and walking trail has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Tourism Initiative’ section of the IPB Insurance and Local Authorities Members Association (LAMA) event, which will take place on Saturday, 3rd February 2018.

The awards recognise and celebrate community and councils working together and provide a great opportunity to highlight and celebrate the work done within our communities; to reward our unsung heroes and recognise the phenomenal contribution they’ve made to our lives, the organisers say.

While the Waterford Greenway is one of Ireland’s newest tourism offerings, it has already attracted close to 250,000 visitors from all over Ireland and abroad. Winning the ‘Best Tourism Initiative’ category, which is sponsored by Fáilte Ireland, would be a huge boost and a massive coup, Waterford City and County Council Mayor, Cllr. Pat Nugent, said.

“We’re very proud of the Waterford Greenway and great credit has to go to the staff who have developed and maintain it, to the surrounding communities who have embraced it and promoted it and to the 247,000 plus visitors who used it between March and early December of last year.

“The competition is formidable and other finalists are drawn from Wicklow, Tipperary, Leitrim, Mid-Ulster and Mayo. But being shortlisted is a huge honour and helps us bring the Waterford Greenway message to an even wider audience through the Awards,” the Mayor added.

Since it opened in March of this year, 247,545 have enjoyed using it; 105,639 on foot and 141,906 have cycled it. Well over 9 out of 10 (94%) of visitors to the Waterford Greenway www.visitwaterfordgreenway.com rated it as either excellent or good, a comprehensive report published in December showed. Chief Executive with Waterford City and County Council, Michael Walsh, is hopeful that they may scoop the coveted award.

“It will be great to fly the Waterford flag in Croke Park for the Awards and we’re hoping it will be a good omen for great things to come for Waterford in 2018. The data we gleaned from the pre-Christmas report on the Greenway was extremely encouraging and it was fantastic to see the Greenway being used for so many purposes and by so many age groups right throughout the year.

“Visitors and local people alike take great pride in it. We’re planning further investment and further attractions along the Greenway and are in negotiations with a number of groups regarding same. It’s been a phenomenal boost to Waterford and we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved.”

The Tourism Award criteria shows that it is specifically aimed at rewarding an initiative which directly increases visitor numbers to an area or to Ireland overall. It also aims to recognise an initiative or project that has helped improve the way we care for our visitors. “The impact this initiative has had, or is having, on visitor numbers and on communities, will be taken into consideration, as will the effect it is having on businesses, both new and existing,” the awards criteria continues.

The Waterford Greenway is Ireland’s longest greenway and the spectacular, 46km off-road cycling and walking trail stretches from the Viking City of Waterford to the picturesque coastal town of Dungarvan.

Visitors are invited to travel along Waterford  Greenway from the City along the River Suir, by Mount Congreve Gardens, through Kilmacthomas, across eleven bridges, over three impressive viaducts and through a 400m long tunnel; with wonderful views of the Comeragh Mountains, the Copper Coast and Dungarvan Bay.

 

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