Cork County Council this week approved the Part 8 planning permission for the east Cork walking and cycling route along the old railway line, and funding of up to €15m will now be required to deliver the project.
A spokesperson for Fáilte Ireland said: “We know there is a growing international tourism trend for discovering local culture and heritage through nature and activities like walking, cycling and fishing — all of which Greenways can bring to life.”
The spokesperson for the Irish tourism organisation also said that the Greenways contribute to the overall incentive for international tourists to visit Ireland and Cork.
“In terms of international visits, a spread of regional and national Greenways contributes to raising Ireland’s profile internationally as an activity destination and they play a strong supporting role in encouraging international visitors to Ireland.”
In terms of the funding made available by the Government to develop Greenways in the county, Fáilte Ireland said they were supportive of the ‘Strategy for the Future Development of Greenways’ prepared by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
“It is envisaged that future funding of Greenways will be aligned to this strategy and the associated fund of €53m that will accompany this.”
Fáilte Ireland also said that the Greenways in Waterford and Mayo have really shown the benefits of these recreational facilities.
“The economic impact and benefits of Greenways have been a huge success for areas where they are already established, such as the Waterford and Great Western Greenway in Mayo.
“Having brought large transformational benefits to those local areas, it has helped to substantially increase the opportunities for sustainable local employment.”
Research carried out by Waterford City and County council in 2017, with Aecom, found that the estimated visitor trips on the Greenway from March to December 2017 were 248,000.