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Tourism and Active Travel

Tourism is one of Ireland’s most economic sectors and has significant potential to play a further role in Ireland’s economic renewal. With strong growth in recent years, tourism has reinforced its position as an important economic sector in Ireland, bringing jobs and revenue to all parts of the country.


A study commissioned by the European Parliament in 2012 estimated that there are over 2.2 billion cycle tourism trips and 20 million over-night cycle trips made every year in Europe. These have an estimated economic impact of €44 billion across Europe, with the cycling tourist spending 9% more than the average tourist.


The benefits of cycling and walking are plentiful. But equally important, cycling creates employment and drives economic activity. According to the OECD Tourism Policies and Trends 2020, revenue from overseas tourists exceeded €5 billion euro for the first time in 2018 and the total value of tourism expenditure to the economy accounted for €9.4 billion, some 3% of GDP. Tourism directly employs 225,000 people nationwide, accounting for 10.3% of employment nationwide. Also check out The EU Cycling Economy, published in 2016 by the European Cycling Federation (ECF).


As a tourism-focused sustainability initiative, a long-term strategy was launched in 2018 for the development of Greenways across the country with the aim of increasing the number, length and regional spread of Greenways over the next 10 years.




Cyclists enjoying a section of greenway in Derry.