2017 was another record-breaking year for overseas tourism to Ireland, with almost 10 million people arriving here – an increase of almost +4%, or 347,700 additional overseas visitors, when compared with 2016. Tourism and Faílte Ireland’s various campaigns are in full swing, to build on the success of 2017. Their aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue in 2018 by +5%, to €6 billion, for the island of Ireland. Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Local Authorities and the local tourism trade are developing new tourism initiatives, enhancing existing tourism infrastructure and ensuring an acceptable standard of environment for locals and visitors in tourism areas.
Quite often the traditional Irish tourist trails are intrinsically sensitive sites from an environmental, landscape, archaeological and ecological perspective and so careful design is crucial to ensure that future growth is sustainably developed. MKO have contributed to various developments in differing environmental settings from coastal projects in Co Kerry to greenway and blueway through inland waterways in Leinster and can bring that breath of experience to future developments.
The expansion of sport and leisure opportunities over the past number of years is expected to continue to ensure that these recreational facilities and public spaces are provided to meet the needs of local communities and tourists alike. MKO have been involved in the design, planning and assessment of various amenity projects nationally and can bring our learned experiences to future projects. Interestingly, the incorporation of amenity proposals into general development projects such as but not limited to wind farms and other development projects may also offer a novel way of providing community benefits and increase levels of local acceptance.