Thursday, 10 December 2009

Co. Clare cycle product in Lonely Planet's world top ten

Flan Quilligan, Shannon Development, Tourism Product Development Manager has welcomed the news that Co Clare tourism cycling routes have been voted in the world top ten of the Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel 2010’ guide.

Mr Quilligan said - ”We are delighted that Co. Clare has been named in the top ten super cycling routes in the world by the Lonely Planet ‘Best in Travel 2010’ guide. This is a testament to the amount of work that has gone into the development of the tourism cycling product in County Clare in recent times.

”The Lonely Planet's guide has put Clare cycling centre stage - ranking them with nine other top cycle routes around the world, including the US, Canada, France New Zealand and the UK."

Highlighting what has been achieved to-date, Mr Quilligan added - “Under the Shannon Development-led €2 million Shannon Region Trails Programme, a number of new tourism cycling routes and tracks were developed in recent times. These works were undertaken in partnership with Clare County Council and with financial support from Fáilte Ireland.

"Among these include the new Doolin cycling hub, which incorporates four new looped walks in the North Clare area. These will also form part of a new Shannon Region cycling network being established by Shannon Development and linked to the national cycling network.

“Currently, 102,000 overseas visitors participate in cycling holidays in Ireland annually, generating €78m in annual revenue. Being featured in this prestigious travel guide will have a direct benefit in the growth of cycling tourism in County Clare. The fact that the Lonely Planet Guide recommends that Co. Clare should be on ‘every cyclist’s wish list' is a great endorsement of our product.

"I had the good fortune recently to meet Tony Wheeler, Co-founder of the Lonely Planet travel guide and I expressed our appreciation to him,” he concluded.

The Co. Clare cycling product has been receiving a high profile in recent times. This summer, world famous US cyclist Greg LeMond, three-time winner of the Tour de France, sampled some of County Clare’s new cycle trails. During his visit, he expressed his love of Ireland and, in particular, the new cycling trails and said their development made county Clare a wonderful place to cycle.

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