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Press Release: Rural Tourism & Alternative Farm Enterprises

Contact: Michael Fitzmaurice at
Mobile: 086 1914565


Michael Fitzmaurice independent candidate in the Tuam Electoral area says “For the last few generations rural areas and farming went hand in hand. Today, in many of our rural communities less than 10% of our families are totally dependent on agriculture and farming activities. Farming was the backbone of our rural areas but this is no longer the case. We need new approaches if our rural areas are to remain viable in these changing circumstances.”

“I believe that our County Council should be taking a proactive approach to laying down a foundation which would make it easier for communities and private entrepreneurs to develop sustainable projects in our rural areas. It is not an easy road for individuals or groups to develop successful projects but the resources of the Council and Agencies such as GRD need to be working together and planning together and assisting with Feasibility studies, providing advice and leading the way in Marketing product on a regional or county basis.”

“It is also vitally important that any projects being undertaken are developed to a high quality standard and a certification system should be in place so that visitors will be able to identify worthwhile destinations which will give visitors quality experiences so that they have something special to remember. It is no longer sustainable to expect providers of small tourism products to be able to market their product successfully. A network of quality tourism products could be marketed on a co-operative basis and such a network should be spearheaded by one of the existing agencies.

We have many indigenous resources that could be harnessed whether it is our rich Heritage and Biodiversity or our open countryside and every single job that can be created and maintained will be worthwhile for the future of our rural areas.

We sometimes forget that within our farm families there is an enormous range of skills that could be put to good use in alternative farm or rural enterprises. We need to get out there and identify suitable projects which can provide sustainable employment in our communities.” Michael Fitzmaurice was speaking following the Glinsk Rural Tourism Seminar which was organised by Galway Rural Development and was addressed by Patricia Golden, Manager of Una Bhan Tourism, Elaine O’Riordan, Biodiversity expert with Galway Co. Council and Órla Casey, Marketing consultant.