Geotourism Event Showcases Tourism Potential
An innovative landscape tourism initiative for the Mourne Mountains, Cooley Peninsula and Ring of Gullion has celebrated the end of their first phase of development with a Celebrate Geotourism conference in Carlingford, Co Louth.
The Mourne Cooley Gullion Geotourism Project is part financed by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Cross Border Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.
The Geotourism project promotes the three areas (Mourne Mountains, Cooley Peninsula and Ring of Gullion) within one tourism destination, with a particular focus on the important landscape, geology, archaeology and related heritage.
The project partners are East Border Region Ltd, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Louth County Council and the Mourne Heritage Trust.
The event marked the completion of the INTERREG IVA Cross Border funding which developed the project from 2012. RTE broadcaster and environmental consultant Eanna Ní Lamhna was the keynote speaker.
The showcase event highlighted the varied programmes within the project. These included the Geo Ambassador Training programme, Schools and Education Schemes, Marketing initiatives and the development of new maps for the region.
Guests at the event included Cllr Peter Savage (Chairman of Louth County Council and Chairman of East Border Region Ltd), Cllr Naomi Ballie (Chaperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council) and Paul Boylan (SEUPB).
In one of his first engagements since his election as Chairman of Louth County Council, Cllr Savage told the visitors and delegates that “there is so much potential to develop this area as a Geo Tourism destination and hopefully that work will continue being driven forward by the Local Authorities of Louth, Newry, Mourne and Down and their Partners”.
In relation to the success of the project and possible plans for the future, Cllr Naomi Ballie stated that “we have only really started to understand and appreciate its potential and I do hope we can build on what has been achieved”. She added that “Geotourism is more than just a landscape tourism project. It is a celebration of place and a unique opportunity to promote a very special region”.
The international geological significance of the region is impressive and the beauty of the landscape attracts visitors from far and wide. Of the many areas of outstanding natural beauty across Ireland and these islands, the region that covers the Mourne Mountains, Ring of Gullion and Cooley Pensinsula is unique and exceptional.
Other examples of Geotourism in Ireland include the Giants Causeway, the Marble Arch Caves and the Burren and Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare.