The Draft Fingal Tourism Strategy was discussed at the recent meeting of Fingal County Council. At the meeting, I called for significant changes to be made to the draft strategy to ensure that Dublin 15 is adequately represented in the document.
Fingal County Council has drafted a comprehensive document, designed to encourage more international and domestic tourists to our region. However, I was disappointed to see how few of the ‘Strategic Objectives’ within the document were related to Dublin 15, particularly in comparison to the North County area of Fingal.
The Draft Strategy goes into great detail about a coastal greenway, but makes very little reference to developing the potential of either the Liffey Valley or the Royal Canal. I would argue that these have as much potential as a coastal greenway. Indeed, as they are far closer to Dublin, they would be more accessible for short stay international visitors. I have called on the Council to include specific reference to developing the potential of the Liffey Valley and the Royal Canal as strategic objectives.
The other area I’ve called on the Council to place a greater focus on is sports tourism. I think the range of facilities available in the Sports Campus at Abbotstown offers extensive opportunities for the future. In particular, international teams may wish to avail of these facilities for training before attending major sporting competitions in the UK or other parts of Europe. I know that prior to the 2012 Olympics in London, we had some success in this area, but the Sports Campus has a much greater range of facilities now. I think the draft strategy should make reference to proactively marketing this area.
Tourism offers Fingal a real opportunity for economic development. It’s vital that since the Council is placing such an emphasis on the issue, that focus must include all parts of Fingal, and that the potential for tourism in Dublin 15 is sufficiently recognised.