Fáilte Ireland and Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) have teamed up to advise seafood producers along the West coast on how best to prepare their tourism offering in advance of the busy holiday period.

The three-day ‘Experience Development Programme’ is being hosted at Spanish Point in Co. Clare and brings together top seafood producers to hear from industry leaders on how best to enhance visitor offerings that align to the Wild Atlantic Way.

The 21 renowned seafood producers which include representatives from Donegal’s Crocknagee Oysters, Clonmany; Mulroy Bay Mussels, Buncrana; The Haven Smokehouse, Carrigart and Irish Premium Oysters, Lettermacaward have been selected as members of the Taste the Atlantic – A Seafood Journey trail, developed by BIM in partnership with Failte Ireland.

Stretching south from the Inishowen Peninsula at the top of Donegal, right down to Oysterhaven Bay in Cork, the trail passes some of Ireland’s most breath-taking seascapes and landmarks and offers visitors the opportunity to experience first-hand the craftsmanship and dedication of Ireland’s seafood producers.

Sinead Hennessy, Food Tourism Officer, Failte Ireland commented: “More and more visitors want to experience local culture through authentic food and beverage based activities, and what better way for visitors travelling the Wild Atlantic Way to do this than to meet and engage with the maker’s in Donegal whose lives have been shaped by the Sea.

“Taste the Atlantic, encourages those who travel along the route to slow down, dwell longer and immerse themselves in the local seafood traditions and practices of the West coast, all while fostering a deeper appreciation for our exceptional seafood, clean Atlantic waters and growing food reputation.

“Today’s development programme is all about delivering on the promise of the Wild Atlantic Way by creating and offering an enhanced and saleable experience to leisure tourists and is delivered as part of Failte Irelands commitment to increasing seasonality and regionality for the tourism industry.”

Speaking at the gathering, Jim O'Toole, Chief Executive Officer of BIM said: “What is captivating about this trail is that it offers visitors a chance to meet with active seafood producers who happen to work in some of the most idyllic locations along the West coast of Ireland.

For many, expanding their business to include a food tourism offering happened organically as a result of inquisitive tourists wanting to know where local seafood is caught or farmed.

The trail has been designed to capitalise on this interest and develop an appreciation for the many dedicated seafood producers on the route.”

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