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14/11/2016 - Developing innovative eco-tourism experiences in the Northwest


Developing innovative eco-tourism experiences in the Northwest

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Alderman Hilary McClintock along with staff from Derry City and Strabane District Council, Donegal County Council and partners from Scotland, Sweden, Finland and Norway.



A number of special meetings have taken place recently in the River Watch Visitor Centre in Derry which have brought together project partners from across the globe involved in the promotion of Slow Adventure experiences, through the SAINT (Slow Adventure in Northern Territories) and Cool Route tourism initiatives.



The COOL Route Project – Cruising Oceans on Latitudes above 51 Degrees North – investigates all aspects of the potential to establish a yacht cruising route along the western offshore areas of the Northern Periphery Area, stretching from Co. Cork in the South of Ireland, to the UK (Northern Ireland and Western Scotland) and onwards to the Faroe Islands and Norway.  As an ecotourism product, exploiting the natural resources of the area in a manner that is sustainable and environmentally viable; this new sea route will be marketed internationally and will have a common branding, booking and information system. 



Meanwhile, the SAINT Project has eleven partners across seven countries all working to develop new visitor experiences which will result in the creation of a transnational Slow Adventure Brand. The aim of the SAINT project is to encourage more tourists to come to the areas to enjoy and experience the outdoors and engage with remote, wild and nature-rich places.


Donegal County Council is delighted to be working in partnership with such a wide range of destinations, with representatives from Scotland, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Northern Ireland all sharing their research and experience.



Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Alderman Hilary McClintock, said the Slow Adventure concept had particular relevance for local companies. “Both the SAINT and Cool Route projects are innovative and exciting in their approaches, and have a wealth of experience to pass on to local businesses. This partnership approach to tourism offers the opportunity to learn from examples of best practice and new ideas based on the first hand experiences of companies from around the world”.


“These businesses all have the shared objective of creating new and effective ways to enhance the tourism offering of their region and the creation of a strong multi-national brand and we can really benefit from sharing their insights. I would really encourage local tourism businesses to find out how they can get involved.”



The partnership will now continue its work over the coming months aiming to use the knowledge and resources shared by the partners to develop new tourism initiatives tapping into the unique resources and features of the region. Over the coming months the partners will continue working on opportunities around project collaboration and maximising the business opportunities for SME’s in the region around Slow Adventure and Marine Tourism.



The Cool Route and SAINT Projects are funded through the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, under the Interreg IVB NPA Programme.



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