Proposal to develop Lough Conn as premier water tourism centre

A scenic snap of Lough Conn taken from a viewing point in Pontoon. Image: GoogleMaps.

A scenic snap of Lough Conn taken from a viewing point in Pontoon. Image: GoogleMaps.

Lough Conn could be developed into the top inland water tourism attraction in the west of Ireland.

That is according to Mayo County Council election candidate in the Ballina area, Michael Loftus, who says inland water tourism could deliver hugely to Mayo’s economy.

A watersports enthusiast himself, Mr Loftus said he believes Lough Conn is an untapped resource and is proposing a ‘blueway’ cycling and walking route around the lake, which would mirror the success of the Greenway in a lakeside setting.

“Water tourism is not just limited to coastal areas,” said Mr Loftus. “Inland water tourism should also be developed and with Lough Conn on our doorstep, we already have the most spectacular natural resource at our fingertips.

“I am proposing that, as the first phase in the development of Lough Conn as an inland waterway centre for Mayo, a blueway, or cycle and walking loop, should be developed around the perimeter of the lake.

“We know Mayo is the walking capital of Ireland - now why not add to the Greenway and have the Blueway to attract tourists and locals alike, while creating employment and boosting the local economy.”

The Crossmolina native is proposing that the Blueway could be the first step in a wider project which would position Lough Conn as the focal point for inland water tourism in the west of Ireland while also promoting the great outdoors.

“In this health conscious age, Lough Conn is ideal for the development of activity tourism magnets such as canoeing, windsurfing, water sports, and even boat tours.

“These are healthy, simple, and cost effective attractions for young and old which would generate employment and financial benefits for the whole region, while showcasing our fabulous county,” he added.

Mr Loftus is a long-time advocate for water tourism in Mayo and has pledged to pursue the Lough Conn development should he be elected to Mayo County Council.

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