‘Border controls’ back with Wild Atlantic Way passport

Border controls Wild Atlantic Way passport
Pictured at the launch of a new passport for the Wild Atlantic Way are Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan with John McConnell, Innovation and quality, An Post, Foyne headmistress Maeve McNamara and Fiona Monaghan, Head of Wild Atlantic Way, Failte Ireland. Border controls Wild Atlantic Way passport. Photo: Pat Moore.

A new souvenir passport that can be used to chart your journey down the Wild Atlantic Way has been released by Ireland’s tourism authorities.

Failte Ireland, in a joint initiative with An Post, have launched the project in a bid to “deepen visitor engagement” with the coastal touring route.

Consisting of 188 “discovery points” along the way, travellers can call into the local post office at each one to have their document stamped with “a unique motif”.

For each 20 stamps in the passport, holders can head to their nearest Tourist Information Office to claim a “Wild Atlantic Way gift”.

Border controls Wild Atlantic Way passport

Fiona Monaghan, head of the Wild Atlantic Way for Failte Ireland, hopes that the initiative will encourage visitors to keep on coming back to the route.

“This passport is a wonderful way for visitors to record their experiences along the Wild Atlantic Way. However, by encouraging visitors to visit local towns to get their passport stamped in the Post Office, we also hope the passport will help to slow travellers down – increasing their dwell time, spend and satisfaction in towns along the route as well as driving an increase in visitor numbers to less visited areas.

“The passport is also neatly placed to encourage a return trip for those that have part-completed their passport – and we will be urging visitors to think about completing their collection of Wild Atlantic Way stamps over a number of years.”

Patrick O’Donovan, Ireland’s Minister of State for Tourism and Sport added that it will give people an incentive to “slow down, dwell longer and immerse themselves in the local towns and villages” of the west coast.

The passport idea was first proposed last year by Fine Gael TD Jim Daly who wants it to help promote businesses in the region.

“For example, it could be used by tourists to access discounts and special deals in restaurants or hotels along the route, helping to market these businesses to the visitors,” he said.

The passport costs €10 and those who purchase it will be entered into a Failte Ireland draw with the chance to win a Wild Atlantic Way “holiday of a lifetime”.

For more information go to www.wildatlanticway.com

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