With the climate crisis intensifying and a definite move towards ditching the car and grabbing a bike since the pandemic hit, a fantastic initiative has been developed to promote sustainable cycle tourism in the Westport and Clew Bay area.
In conjunction with Destination Westport, Westport Chamber of Commerce and Mayo County Council, Cycle Friendly Clew Bay aims to establish Westport and the Clew Bay area as a world-class, affordable cycling destination aimed at both domestic and international tourists.
As a town on the western extremities of the country, Westport enjoys the unique advantage of being located on three of Ireland’s premier cycling routes – the Great Western Greenway, the Wild Atlantic Way and the Eurovelo Ireland route, as well as the exciting new Clew Bay Bike Trail.
The Cycle-Friendly Clew Bay website provides visitors with all the information they need to plan their cycling holidays in Westport and west Mayo, with recommendations from the very best cycling routes to brilliant bike-friendly cafés, B&Bs, hotels and restaurants. Covering everywhere from Achill Island to Lough Finny and Doolough Valley, the site will spread the benefits of cycle tourism to service providers in Westport and surrounding areas, as well as tourists visiting the area.
With tourists now looking for healthier, more sustainable travel and exercise options, the hospitality sector in the Clew Bay region has the unique opportunity to adapt themselves to cater for the huge increase in cycling tourism. It is an industry which is worth €44 billion to the European economy annually, and the cycling tourist spends nine per cent more than the average tourist.
In recognition of this exciting initiative, the three participating bodies have been invited to join the European Cyclists Federation’s Cities and Regions Network. This is a first in Ireland and it is an opportunity to raise the profile of the Clew Bay area at a European level as a cycle-friendly region with a special interest in sustainable travel.
In conjunction with Destination Westport, Westport Chamber of Commerce and Mayo County Council which are fully funding the project for the first two years, local businesses are being offered the chance to be part of this exciting initiative.
Registering a business is free and simple and can be done on the Cycle Friendly Clew Bay website at www.cyclefriendlyclewbay.ie The more local stakeholders get on board, the greater the benefit for the area, including Westport town.