In response to the growing trend of wellbeing tourism, the North West of Ireland like most of the world is largely driven by its consumers and their quest for healthier lifestyles and habits, some of which have been triggered by bettering their minds, bodies and souls – particularly during COVID. Irish travel companies are increasingly catering to the demand for wellness holidays, offering new programmes which seek to alleviate stress by focusing on mindfulness and nutrition, allied with physical and mental wellbeing.
One such example is the region of The North West of Ireland. The Digital Regional Wellbeing Map of Ireland focuses on the region and counties Sligo and Leitrim. The region demonstrates how two rural tourism counties can come together and respond to evolving wellbeing tourism trends and opportunities that suit their uniqueness but also ensures their sustainability and competitiveness. The Northwest of Ireland is known for its location between Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and the famous 2500 km Wild Atlantic Way. Rural in nature with two of the lowest populations in Ireland (Leitrim has 26,000 and Sligo has 65,500) this is an example of one of the regions USP as it has plenty to see and do, with low footfall providing the perfect peaceful wellbeing escape.
Sligo and Leitrim’s wellbeing offerings are built primarily on its exceptional scenery, a genuine warm welcome and friendliness from the locals, fresh air, a relaxed and peaceful pace of life, open spaces with low footfall so people can escape the hustle and bustle of modern life. The beautiful scenery, rugged coast line and culture provides a variety of wellbeing holiday experiences from relaxation in a seaweed bath, spa or beach; cycling, walking or hiking among its lush forests, mountains and trails; engaging in friendly condensation, entertainment and craic; fresh, organic and locally produced food; snorkeling, diving or surfing the Wild Atlantic ocean to foraging, canoeing or SUP on its lakes and rivers.
Over the last few years it has steadily developed to become home to many famous wellbeing tourism attractions and experiences which are unique to its area and natural resources. Just in 2019 Strandhill, Sligo was named Ireland’s Health and Wellbeing Destination of 17 European countries to receive an EDEN award from the European Commission. Leitrim is home to Slow Adventure Ireland who focus on creating inspiring and relaxing connections with the outdoors. Both regions have wellbeing experiences covered providing plenty of activities, adventure, culture, traditions, fresh crisp air, peaceful atmosphere, natural resources and heritage. All the essential ingredients for any competitive wellbeing region.