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  • The Boyne Valley

    We are working with tourism businesses in the Boyne Valley to help them develop their area as a world-class tourism destination. Find out about the progress we've made so far and plans for future development.

    Mellifont Abbey ruinsTourism Destinations

    Tourism destinations are generally known for a key attraction or activity that makes them market leaders and instantly recognisable as a must-see place. Their brand, product, reputation and marketing efforts are built around that key identity. Supplementary products and attractions are then developed to give the tourist a complete experience. Destinations need to have a critical mass of product and services.

    We are supporting a strategy to develop world class tourism destinations in Ireland. Successful destinations will have the critical mass of services, product and accommodation necessary to provide a complete and memorable holiday experience. The Boyne Valley is one of these destinations.

    The Boyne Valley and the key players

    The Boyne Valley comprises the counties of Louth and Meath, which boast stunning scenery, one of Europe’s best collections of prehistoric sites and monuments  and a unique history and culture.

    To develop the Boyne Valley as a leading International Tourism Destination a cooperative approach has been adopted which does not follow county and administrative boundaries. Instead it adopts a common infrastructure, development and marketing approach and presents the destination to visitors within the context of its unique heritage, history, attractions and culture – ‘the destination development approach’.


    A Destination Steering Group of Boyne Valley Tourism Business Champions was formed with partners including relevant agencies and Local Authorities. We assist this steering group with professional support. The objective is to create a destination with a common theme and interpretation.

    The effectiveness of the Steering Group is dependent on:

    • having a clear vision for the destination and wanting to improve the visitor experience
    • having representation from the public and private sectors, community and voluntary groups -producing an Action Plan with specific tasks and resources allocated
    • understanding market trends, who their visitors are and what they want
    Cooperation is required across many levels to ensure that:
    • a priority capital investment project list for the Boyne Valley in accordance with the destination priorities is drawn up
    • human, technical and marketing resources across the Local Authorities of Louth and Meath are shared to achieve synergies and cost savings; a joint administrative structure supports the Tourism officer, funded jointly  by the Local Authorities
    • the roles of existing county tourism companies are retained as they are critical to the success of the overall plan and a key link on the ground to the host communities and businesses that make up the tourism fabric of the Boyne Valley

    Achievements to date

    The group have developed an action plan to spearhead the development of the destination. Key actions include:
    • developing a range of packages/themed experiences
    • developing and delivering on a marketing plan for package  including PR
    • creating a ‘what’s on today/this week/this month list’ that all Champions use when selling packages/the region
    • increasing overall awareness of the Boyne Valley by all (including those outside tourism) of the region itself through local PR and Boyne Valley e-zine
    • using web-based and e-marketing
    • delivering the new Boyne Valley brand and Boyne Valley brochure
    • delivering best practice packaging development

    Work completed to date

    • New logo and brand identity
    • Training programme for the 55 Boyne Valley Champions (tourism businesses) dealing with all aspects of tourism business and marketing
    • New brochure developed and distributed and further promotions devised
    • Mystery shopper report conducted with the 55 trained champions.

    Next steps

    The planned next steps for the Boyne Valley Destination Group are:
    1. Developing and implementing a common look and feel to the interpretation at all sites around the Boyne Valley.
    2. Re-signing the 120km Boyne Valley Driving Route.
    3. Investing in Boyne Valley Cycle Trail to include signage, cycle lanes and other safety measures.
    4. Investing in Civic and Public Realm Works to enhance key towns and make them more appealing and visitor friendly.
    5. Investing in directional and tourist related signposting on primary, secondary and tertiary routes around the Boyne Valley, including the development of GPS related applications to aid visitors travelling around the valley.


    Cultural tourism is on the up, with three million cultural tourists spending nearly €1.7 billion in 2010.

    Learn how to attract cultural tourists