The majestic holy mountain of Croagh Patrick has been selected as one of only a handful Irish destinations which have been included in the just-published Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Adventures.
The Lonely Planet guide, one of the best internationally renowned travel books, features activities and challenges throughout the world in its new publication and lists climbing Croagh Patrick as the ‘ultimate pilgrimage’.
Other Irish attractions included in the top 10 list of adventure activities and destinations in the guide included surfing at Mullaghmore Head in Co Sligo and horse-riding on the Castle Leslie estate in Co Monaghan.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring has welcomed the Irish inclusions. “In recent years the Government and the tourism agencies have been working hard to develop Ireland as a strong adventure tourism venue and get the word out across the world,” Minister Ring said. “Ireland was once the best kept secret in activity tourism but increasingly, due to the great product we have to offer, the word is getting out. With its ability to generate jobs and revenue in rural areas, I will be ensuring that this government will continue to be four square behind the continuing growth of this sector.”
Fáilte Ireland also stressed today that the adventure and activity sector was a growing and lucrative tourism segment with much potential for Ireland. Pointing to the fact that Ireland has also been cited by Lonely Planet as a ‘must-go’ for coast to coast walking, Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn raised the importance of the soon-to-launch Wild Atlantic Way. “Hiking, cycling, water sports, and other activities are all becoming increasingly popular with overseas travellers, particularly Europeans and especially in one of our key markets, Germany,” he said. “With our new touring route, the Wild Atlantic Way, becoming operational next year, we will have an opportunity to further boost our appeal as we seek to increase international visitor numbers.”
Welcoming the news, Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland chief executive, said: “The inclusion of Irish locations in the new Lonely Planet publication is good news indeed, helping to inspire adventure-seekers everywhere and giving Tourism Ireland another wonderful platform to continue to promote the island of Ireland around the world as a ‘must-visit’ destination for adventure sports and activity holidays.”