A hiking trail built along a disused railway line from Waterford to Dungarvan encourages new tourism in Ireland.
SPECTACULAR COASTAL TRAIL
The Waterford Greenway is a spectacular 46 km off-road cycling and walking coastal trail developed by Waterford City and County Council. The trail runs along a disused railway line from Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford, to the stunning harbour town of Dungarvan. It has become an important national tourism asset, creating employment and benefiting local communities and the economy in a rural area that was in decline.
PEOPLE TRAVEL TO THE AREA TO USE THE GREENWAY
Between its opening in March and December 2017, the project has been a stunning success with almost 250,000 walking or cycling Waterford Greenway in its first year. In a recent survey of over 1,000 visitors to the Greenway, 68% said they travelled to Waterford mainly to use the Greenway, showing its impact on tourism. Local people see the Greenway as an excellent opportunity to pursue enterprises not previously considered viable. Tourism and recreation-related spending on items such as bicycle hire, food, and lodging are just a few of the ways it has positively impacted on the local economy and Waterford more generally.
AN IRISH SUCCESS STORY
Developed at the cost of EUR 15 million, Waterford Greenway is an Irish award-winning success story. Environmental protection was built into the design of the Greenway and a survey shows its impact across the county, benefitting the local economy in the southeast of Ireland. More than 90 new jobs were created and a range of businesses have benefited: 80% of visitors came from outside the county, stayed in paid accommodation and spent money on leisure. The project was awarded the Grand Prix and Best Tourism Initiative at the All Ireland Community and Council Awards 2018 and a Chambers Ireland Excellence Award in 2017.