Tipperary County Council has won a Chambers Ireland Excellence in the local government awards in the supporting tourism category for the Suir Blueway .
The aim of the excellence in local government awards is to shine a spotlight on the valuable work of local authorities and profile the excellent projects and initiatives undertaken by teams in local government right around the country. CEO Michelle Aylward, said, “Local authorities are at the heart of local economies right across the island and make significant contributions to Irish society and the communities they serve. The value of this contribution has never been felt as strongly than over the past year, as towns, villages, cities and regions cope with the impact of COVID-19 on lives and livelihoods.”
The CEO leader said tourism was a vital part of the Irish economy and can have wide ranging positive effects for communities and businesses.
“The supporting tourism award seeks to recognise best practice work by local authorities to promote and increase the tourism offerings in their local areas,” said Michelle Alyward.
This year Tipperary County Council entered Suir Blueway Tipperary into the awards. Suir Blueway Tipperary is Tipperary’s newest recreational visitor experience developed in collaboration with multiple stakeholders, local communities and businesses.
As a result, refurbished pathways and multiple new access points have reconnected visitors and communities to the river Suir.
Visitors can experience engaging tours of the world renowned Cahir Castle before strolling down to the Swiss Cottage as paddle boarders and canoeists pass by on their way along 53km of river trails, passing through picturesque villages and 3towns as they follow the meandering river to the historic town of Clonmel and onwards to Carrick-on-Suir. Walkers and cyclists can enjoy beautiful scenery as they follow the river for 21km along the refurbished historic towpath from Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir. Accomplished paddlers can take on the challenge of the 300-metre white-water Canoe Slalom Course in Clonmel while the culturally curious can enjoy the Butler Trail, the Main Guard in Clonmel and Ormond Castle in Carrick-on-Suir.
Speaking about the award Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council Cllr Michael Smith said “Suir Blueway Tipperary is the culmination of many years of work by a wide range of partners including the local authority, the communities, towns and villages located along the Blueway, Tipperary Sports Partnership and Tipperary Tourism”
“Formally launched in 2019 the Blueway has provided a haven for locals throughout the pandemic and during the summer the Blueway proved a huge hit with visitors from all over the country. Developed to an exceptionally high standard the Blueway is now recognised as a best practice example for the development of new Blueways across the country, it is therefore fitting that Tipperary County Council has received this award validating its innovative and collaborative leadership in the delivery of this wonderful tourism and recreation amenity,” said the chairman.
Chief Executive of Tipperary County Council, Joe MacGrath further commented “This is a much coveted award with strong competition from five other shortlisted local authorities. This win cements Tipperary’s reputation as a tourism destination offering excellence in visitor experience development, and specifically showcases the fine attributes of Suir Blueway Tipperary, providing another vehicle through which to promote Tipperary as a tourism destination. The renewed focus on outdoor recreation places Suir Blueway Tipperary at the top of the list of perspective tourists of all types, providing a true multi generational offering.”
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