LYIT offers Certificate in Marine Tourism & Seafood Fundamentals
Course is a key component of the Donegal Atlantic Coastal Trail
Donegal is leading the way in the introduction of an innovative food and marine tourism project that will see businesses in both the food and tourism sector working together to create a unique visitor experience for those exploring the Wild Atlantic Way.
On Tuesday evening (5/7/16), the Certificate in Marine Tourism and Seafood Fundamentals course was launched by Cathaoirleach Cllr Terence Slowey at the LYIT School of Tourism in Killybegs.
This course is a key component of the Donegal Atlantic Coastal Trail project and according to Dr Seán Duffy, Head of the School of Tourism, it has been deliberately designed in such a way that anyone with an interest in this area can take part in the course. “We wanted to design a course that would suit a diverse range of individuals and not just those working in the food industry. We have worked closely with a number of partners including BIM to develop this course. The course will introduce people to what marine tourism is all about and will have a particular focus on the seafood industry in Donegal. The course will be hands on and will include guest speakers as well as visits to businesses operating in this sector”.
Speaking at the launch, Seamus Neely, Chief Executive, Donegal County Council, highlighted the potential that continues to existing in Donegal from the success of the Wild Atlantic Way. “The last few years have seen an increase in visitor numbers to the North West and indeed to Donegal and yet only 12% of visitors who come for the Wild Atlantic Way journeys north of Galway. We should look at this as an opportunity in that there is still great growth potential in this sector. Our market share is still relatively small but if we can be creative in how we package our product offering we have the potential to significantly increase our share in this market space”.
Meadbh Seoighe, Development Executive with Údaras na Gaeltachta, agrees and believes that Donegal is to the forefront in developing an initiative such as this. “Donegal has a great story to tell and this course will help people do this. This course is for everyone and because it is part-time it means that you can continue to work or to run your business while studying. It will be a great springboard for someone interested in this sector and in availing of the opportunities it presents. Donegal is competing with some very well experienced regions such as Kerry and therefore it is important that we are all on message and that everyone is telling our story and creating the unique and special experience that our visitors are looking for”.
While Tourism is and has been a very important sector for Donegal, one of the greatest challenges has been to extend the season from the traditional summer period and according to Cathaoirleach Cllr Terence Slowey the Donegal Atlantic Coastal Trail has the potential to do this. “I believe that we need to stretch out the tourism season for businesses in Donegal. This is one of my own key priorities for my term of office and this project has the potential to do this. We have a unique product and the inclusion of the islands in this initiative adds even more. Our islands are to a large extent unexplored and their culture, folklore and way of life remains as intriguing today as it did in the years gone by. For the discerning visitor this is a very attractive proposition and if we can be creative in our thinking and in how we work together to package this experience then I am confident that we can continue to build on our share of visitors to this island”.
Pictured at the launch of the Donegal Atlantic Coastal Trail project in the LYIT School of Tourism Killybegs on Tuesday, 5/7/16, were Cllr John Campbell; Dr Seán Duffy, Head of the School of Tourism; Meadbh Seoighe, Development Executive, Údarás na Gaeltachta; Cllr Terence Slowey, Cathaoirleach, Donegal County Council; Cllr Niamh Kennedy; and Seamus Neely, Chief Executive, Donegal County Council.
To find out more about the Certificate in Marine Tourism & Seafood Fundamentals, contact the LYIT School of Tourism on +353 74 9186600.
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 16:44:00 BST