€19 million to be invested in outdoor water sport centres across Ireland
They are hoping the centres which will feature kayaking, surfing, and paddleboarding, will play a "key role" in Ireland's economic recovery.
Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin and Fáilte Ireland will be investing €19 million to develop state-of-the-art facilities for outdoor water-based activities across 22 counties.
The funding will be used to build "world-class" facilities across the country in areas such as the Docklands, Dun Laoghaire, and Cork, among others.
This investment scheme, developed in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and local authorities is being set up to "support the local economy and the outdoor activity sector" and "extend the tourism season beyond the traditional summer months. "
A second phase is expected to commence in 2023 under Fáilte Ireland’s Platforms for Growth capital investment programme.
In a statement, Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin T.D. said: “We’ve seen a significant upward trend in people enjoying outdoor water activities over the last year and we know the appeal of the outdoors will continue to grow post-Covid-19 so we must ensure the Irish experience meets and exceeds visitor expectations.
"The scale of the investment I am announcing today with Fáilte Ireland will have a key role in Ireland’s recovery.
"It will support the local economy and the outdoor water-based activity sector by significantly improving the overall visitor experience, providing new business and job opportunities in local communities, particularly in rural areas and allowing for an extension of the traditional tourism season beyond the summer months. "
Paul Kelly, CEO Fáilte Ireland added: “Our temperate climate can offer year-round quality outdoor experiences.
"In order for Ireland to be recognised internationally as a best-in-class activity destination, it is critical that we invest in building a sustainable activity infrastructure, compelling visitor experiences, and developing the capacity of activity providers."