Boost for Kilkenny tourism as two loop walks receive funding

Sean Keane

Reporter:

Sean Keane

Email:

sean.keane@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny Kilkenny Kilkenny

The annual Gathabawn Challenge on St Stephen's Day will benefit from the new funding

The inclusion of two Kilkenny loop walks in the expanded Walks Scheme will be a real boost for Kilkenny tourism. 

“The inclusion of Gattabawn Loop Walk and Kilmacoliver Loop Walk in the first phase of the expanded Walks Scheme is good news for local land owners and hikers, and will be a real boost to tourism in our area," Minister John Paul Phelan said.

“The Walks Scheme currently covers 39 trails, involving 1,962 participant landowners and farmers and it is operated by the Department of Rural and Community Development," he added.

“My colleague Minister Michael Ring confirmed to me that the expansion of the Walks Scheme to 10 extra walks will include the Gathabawn and Kilmacoliver Loop Walks. This expansion reflects the success of the scheme to date in delivering high quality walking trails, and follows the Government’s commitment to double the number of trails in the scheme over time.  Up to 40 new trails will be added when all phases of the expansion are complete.

“The Gattabawn Loop Walk covers 2 kilometres and includes four landowners. The Kilmacoliver one includes three landowners and spans 3 kilometres. The Scheme contracts the landowners and farmers, or their nominees, to undertake maintenance work on sections of National Waymarked Ways and other priority walks that traverse their lands. The Scheme is administered at a local level by Local Development Companies. 

“Walking tourism has huge potential and can deliver real dividends to local hotels, BBs, restaurants, pubs and shops. Last year alone, almost 2.7 million overseas visitors to Ireland engaged in some form of cross-country walking or hiking. One in four of people doing a ‘staycation’ here in Ireland included walking or hiking as part of their holiday," Minister Phelan said.