Fáilte Ireland’s new investment programme has received a total of 141 applications, worth almost €1.3bn in total, according to newly released statistics.

The programme supports large-scale visitor attractions across the country through the National Tourism Development Authority’s Platforms for Growth programme.

This is the highest number of project proposals ever submitted to Fáilte Ireland in a call for investment. The applications, from a total of 23 counties, have now progressed to the next stage of the process and the strongest proposals will be invited to compete in the final stage. The greatest number of proposals came from Dublin (25), Kerry (16), Galway (13), Cork (12) and Donegal (10).

This is the first call for submissions under Platforms for Growth 2019-2022, with more to be announced during this period. Over the course of the programme, Fáilte Ireland will invest €150m into developing major new visitor experiences of scale across the country, with individual grants of €2.5m upwards available.

Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Attractions, Mary Stack, said that there are clear themes emerging from the ideas put forward and that ‘cutting-edge technology’ was at the core of almost every application.

“We’re seeing clear themes emerging from the applications, with ideas ranging from ways for tourists to explore Irish mythology or the country’s transport and aviation history, as well as new takes on contemporary Irish culture including sport, music and the arts,” she said. “We’ve seen applications for brand new attractions as well as existing attractions with proposals to refresh and reinvent themselves.”

Platforms for Growth specifically targets ‘platforms’, or projects, that have the greatest potential to grow tourism across Ireland, and fill gaps in the Irish tourism offering in order to meet changing visitor preferences.

The first ‘platform’ launched in May focuses on developing immersive heritage and cultural attractions.

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