The Great Western Greenway has been awarded first prize in the Exemplary Initiatives category at the sixth European Greenways awards ceremony in Portugal. Organised by the European Greenways Association, the awards promote examples of best practice in greenway development across Europe.
Welcoming the news, Minister for State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring said: “This is fabulous news for County Mayo and I would like to congratulate all those involved in the project. The Greenway has transformed the Newport and Mulranny areas in terms of tourism performance while creating almost 40 jobs locally. I want to congratulate everyone involved in this project, including all the local people and groups in Mayo, the county council, as well as Fáilte Ireland for bringing us such a great tourism asset.”
One hundred and fifty seven thousand trips have been recorded along the route since the beginning of 2013 (up to mid-August ). The busiest day so far this year was Saturday August 3, clocking up 1,015 people.
Fiona Monaghan, head of operations for Fáilte Ireland in the west, believes the Greenway is a great example of how tourism can regenerate a local economy. “The Greenway is a classic example of taking an underused local asset, looking at it in a new way and exploiting its full potential for the betterment of the local community and economy.”