A COUNCILLOR has welcomed backing for his motion to look at potentially developing tourist trails with themes including the Game of Thrones.
Ulster Unionist councillor Richard Holmes from the Garvagh area raised the issue at a committee meeting of Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council.
He said the motion tasks officers to establish a variety of routes which “could cover such exciting ventures as a Game of Thrones Trail, 1718 Migration Trail or Thrill Seekers Trail”.
Cllr Holmes added: “On trips to Donegal, I have been impressed with the way the county has developed spin offs from the highly successful Wild Atlantic Way.
“Whilst the Wild Atlantic Way runs from Londonderry to Cork, Donegal has developed six driving routes for tourists to discover the hidden gems from the Blue Stack Mountains to Inishowen’s Amazing Grace story.
“These sub-trails have helped drive a tourist economy away from the coastline and ensured success for accommodation providers, eateries, shops and attractions.
“With the success of the local Causeway Coastal Route and the increasing number of tourists to the area, I see the benefit of a similar model being developed within Causeway Coast and Glens.
“From east to west we can offer mountains and glens, sea and sand, history, walks and thrills galore.
“Imagine a day out that started with a mountain walk in Binevenagh with the breath-taking views over Magilligan. Then a stop for lunch in one of Garvagh’s cafes before tackling one of the new mountain bike trails in the nearby forest.
“Then head to the coast for an evening surf before dinner and an evening in a cosy corner with music and chat. We have so much to offer in this area.
“This is only one of many potential routes that could be imagined across a council area that encompasses sea, sand and mountains as well as culture, history and sporting thrills.
“The business case for such trails is to increase the tourist spend in the area and draw tourists off the golden coast where too often they are just passing through.
“We are more than just the greatest hits of The Giant’s Causeway, Dark Hedges, Royal Portrush and then onwards to Derry’s Walls. But it will take imagination, work and perseverance to develop a broader tourist offer matching the breath-taking splendour of the Causeway Coast and Glens.”