Congrats to the winner of our Sligo Walks Christmas Competition, which was sponsored by the Radisson Blu Hotel here in Sligo. Sorcha Coll from Donegal is the lucky winner, and she, along with a guest, has won a VIP walking trip to Sligo in the New Year.
It’s great that the winner will get not only to stay at one of Sligo’s most luxurious hotels, with spa treatments and more included, but they will also avail of a host of outdoor extras.
We ran a 12 Days of Christmas competition, with a different question every day. This enabled visitors to the Sligo Walks Facebook page not only to enter the competition and have some fun, but it also gave us at Sligo Walks some insights as to what perceptions people have in relation to the walks and how we might promote them.
This didn’t constitute a scientific survey, but at the same time, some of the replies did give us food for thought. For example, the question about what is Sligo’s biggest selling point as a tourism destination met with some interesting and considered responses.
Many of you voted for Yeats, or the location along the Wild Atlantic Way, or simply the scenery, but we also had several who name checked the Sligo Camino, a 36km trek which runs between Dromohair in Co. Leitrim and Coolaney in Co. Sligo, taking in a variety of historical locations along its route. Now heading into its fourth year, the walk takes place on the first weekend in July and traverses the entire county, with walkers using a variety of mountain paths, country lanes, forest tracks and trails.
We had a couple of Yeats-themed questions, one of which asked: What location in Sligo do you most associate with WB Yeats?
We had well over a hundred votes on this one, and eight different locations were voted on. Both Lissadell (14%) and the Lake Isle of Innisfree (11%) proved popular, but the top destination by far was Drumcliffe, which received 62% of the votes.
The reasons for this could be varied, but there’s no doubt that good signage, its location, the high cross and tower, amenities such as the Church and café, ample parking, and scenic views towards Ben Bulben, not to mention this being WB Yeats’ final resting place, are all contributory factors in making this such a popular place to visit.
But you also have a great community at Drumcliffe working together all year round – as anyone who has seen the Christmas tree and craft festival taking place there at the moment, will agree.
Places like Drumcliffe can help tourism authorities plan the promotion of other locations around Sligo, our walks among them. In tandem with positive promotion of the county as a gem located along the Wild Atlantic Way – we must ensure that the experience provides all of the elements for the discerning visitor here. The days of ‘build it and they will come’ are well behind us. Nowadays, tourists will decide in advance what they want to visit, will read each other’s reviews and will have formed an opinion as to whether a location is worth stopping off at before they make the trip, and the same can be said of tour operators. So if we can replicate to some degree what Drumcliffe offers in terms of creating an overall, positive tourism experience, we can help make the tourists’ minds up for them, which should have a positive impact on Sligo.
From all at SligoWalks.ie, we’d like to wish all of our readers a happy and a healthy Christmas and we look forward to seeing many of you out and about over the holiday season, enjoying all that Sligo Walks have to offer.