Council seeks tenders for Malin Head Visitor Management Plan

Donegal County Council is seeking tenders for the development of a Visitor Management Plan for Malin Head.

Recently, it was announced that toilet and car parking spaces are to be developed, with further development planned to enhance the tourism potential of the site.

HoDonegal County Council is seeking tenders for the development of a Visitor wever, the plans have proven controversial, with some members of the community saying there hasn't been enough consultation.

Cllr Martin Mc Dermott believes this process will show there is widespread support for developing the area in a sustainable way, and this process will allow people make their views known...........


Council statement in full -

Donegal County Council is this week seeking tenders for the development of a Visitor Management Plan for Malin Head.

An important part of the process of developing this plan will be engaging with the local community and other stakeholders.  Tenderers are being asked to ensure that consultation with the local community, as well as a programme of engagement with key stakeholders, is an essential element in the development of the plan.

The aim of the Visitor Management Plan is to guide the future development and management of Malin Head which is one of just 15 Signature Discovery Points on the Wild Atlantic Way stretching from Cork to Donegal along the spectacular Atlantic Coast.

Liam Ward, Director of Service with Donegal County Council says “the Wild Atlantic Way has been a great success for Donegal and the Western Seaboard and it is all about promising the visitor a world class, sustainable and unmissable experience.  The essence of the Wild Atlantic Way brand is one of ‘wildness’ of valuing what is natural and authentic along our coastline and of caring for our landscape, seascape and environment in a way that will protect and preserve it’s uniqueness for generations to come”.

“Malin Head is a special place and is either the first or the last stop on the Wild Atlantic Way depending on the direction of travel.  And although minor works to improve access, bus parking and toilet facilities are planned for 2017, other ongoing visitor management opportunities and challenges have been identified at Malin Head which points to the need for a Visitor Management Plan for the area”.

Speaking about the Visitor Management Plan, Fiona Monaghan Head of the Wild Atlantic Way with Fáilte Ireland, said “providing a compelling visitor experience is at the very core of this plan – giving people a reason to visit and remain in the area longer.   However developing this experience in a sustainable way that will deliver real economic and social benefits to the wider local community while at the same time, ensuring our core asset - our landscapes and seascapes - is environmentally protected is crucial.

“Fáilte Ireland will be working closely with Donegal County Council to ensure we fully maximise the tourism potential of Malin Head as well as continuing the work on the wider development of the Wild Atlantic Way.”

It is proposed that this Visitor Management Plan will have four very specific outcomes focusing on visitor experience, community benefit, environmental protection and traffic management as follows:

  • Visitor Experience: Malin Head Signature Discovery Point will provide a motivating and compelling visitor experience on the Wild Atlantic Way giving people a reason to visit and remain in the area longer.
  • Community Benefit:  The site must be developed in a sustainable way which will deliver a real economic and social benefit to the wider local community in Malin Head. One way of doing this is to increase the visitor ‘dwell-time’ in the wider area, which will serve to increase the economic benefit to local communities.
  • Environmental Protection:  A long term view of the development of Malin Head must be taken to ensure that the core asset that has attracted the visitor in the first place i.e. the wild landscapes and seascapes, is protected; that the conservation objectives of designated areas at a minimum are met and that any environmental impacts currently identified at the site are mitigated and managed.
  • Traffic Management:  Existing issues such as traffic congestion and parking which are impacting on both the visitor experience of the site and also access and amenity for the local community must be addressed through this plan.

To support the delivery of this Visitor Management Plan, a Project Steering Group will be set up to oversee the delivery of this project and will comprise representatives from Donegal County Council, the local community and Fáilte Ireland.

Tender documents will be available on from Thursday 16th February 2017.