Visitors coming to Ireland for walking breaks stay longer, and have greater spending power, so they are vital to the tourism economy. That’s according to B& B Ireland, who have launched a new website to cater specifically for walkers and hikers: http://walking.bandbireland.com
“The latest statistics show that on average visitors who choose walking or hiking as their top activity stay over 17 days – which is significantly longer than the average holiday maker stays,” says B&B Ireland chief executive Helena Healy.
“Walkers choose B&B accommodation over hostels, hotels, camping or caravan accommodation. B&Bs make an ideal base for walking breaks because so many are located in rural areas. This is why it is important to attract walkers and hikers to Ireland not just for us and our members but for the benefit of the wider rural and regional economies.”
“At B&B Ireland, we believe there is a huge potential to develop Ireland even further as a destination for walking and hiking breaks. Satisfaction ratings with walking/hiking holidays in Ireland are incredibly high at 91%, with 84% also being happy with the cost.”
www.walking.bandbireland.com has details of Ireland’s top walks, reviews from walking and hiking enthusiasts, a blog and a list of specialist Walking B&Bs. “We are also rolling out an online marketing campaign to promote the site – particularly to France, Germany, Britain and the US, where most of the walkers come from,” says Helena.
B&B Ireland is working with its members and with Fáilte Ireland to develop specialist walking packages and breaks. “We make packed lunches for walkers to take with them, and provide a drying room for wet or muddy clothers when they get back,” says Mary Ita Boyle of “Avalon” B&B, outside Glenties, in Co Donegal. “We have the local knowledge they need to find the best local walks, and we are right on the route of the Blue Stacks Walk.”
Margaret & Hugh Coogan own and run the 4* Kyle Farmhouse outside Tinahely, a 19th Century 4th generation farmhouse offering with all modern comforts, on the slopes of the Wicklow Mountains – an ideal location for keen walkers. The Wicklow Way passes their door and for experienced walkers, the Wicklow Loop can be started from their farm also.
Kilcatten Lodge is a 4* B&B outside Timoleague in West Cork, ideal for taking your choice of walks on the Seven Heads Peninsula. Kenmare House in neighbouring Kerry – also 4* – offer an impressive range of walks e.g. the Stone Circle, Gleninchaquin Park, Blackwater River Walk, Bonane Heritage Park, Killarney National Park or the Gap of Dunloe.
Media queries to: Trish Hegarty, Inis Communications 086 1740057.