Lough Derg Trails Go Mobile

A smartphone application that uses GPS technology and Google Maps to guide tourists and outdoor enthusiasts around the trails of Lough Derg went live for the first time today.

The mobile app – launched by the Lough Derg Marketing Strategy Group (LDMG) – will feature over 20 types of trails from walking, cycling and water-based activities to heritage tours and driving routes, making it the most comprehensive mobile application for leisure trails ever launched in Ireland. The app is available for download for free by iPhone and Android users.

The launch of the app is the result of a partnership between Shannon Development and Everytrail, a US company which has developed technology that allows the plotting, upload and the sharing of routes of varying types all over the world.

The EveryTrail application uses Google Maps and the GPS system in iPhones and other smartphones to allow users first find trails near their current location. They can then download maps, route descriptions, images and other content and ask the app to direct them to the starting point and then navigate along the route.

Mr. Joe MacGrath, LDMG Chairperson and Manager of North Tipperary County Council said the aim of the app is to promote Lough Derg as a visitor destination through smartphone application media.

“This app forms part of the Group’s Action Plan to develop Lough Derg as a key destination for superb water-based activities combined with a range of very high quality walking, cycling, heritage and culture and food experiences that will entice the domestic and international visitor to stay longer. This will be achieved through the joint co-operation of all tourism stakeholders in the development and marketing of their area under the Lakelands – Destination Lough Derg identity”, Mr. MacGrath added.

On behalf of the LDMG, Shannon Development engaged with GlobalMotion Media Inc., a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, to develop the App. Funding for this action was provided through Shannon Development’s Shannon Region Trails Programme and the Mid-West Regional Authority’s NEA2 project.

Ruairi Deane, Tourism Product Development Executive, Shannon Development added that the newly developed app complements the Shannon Region International Trails Programme, an initiative by Shannon Development to develop and promote the Shannon Region as a world-class trails destination.

Mr. Deane added: “The Programme has concentrated to-date on physical trails infrastructure and we are now looking at new ways to market the trails and showcase the variety of activities in the Region. Everytrail is an ideal international partner for us. We see Lough Derg as the first of a series of trails-based destination apps for the Region and we look forward to working with Everytrail to provide similar destination Apps for other parts of the region.”

According to Joost Schreve, CEO of GlobalMotion Media Inc: “Our EveryTrail platform is the world’s fastest growing online community for GPS trip sharing and is at the cutting edge of mobile travel guide provision. We are delighted to partner with Shannon Development in Ireland as this enables us to greatly enhance the trail content we provide via our website and mobile applications.”

Among the trails featured in the new smartphone app are Looped Walks like Portumna Forest Park Woodland Trails, Ballycroum Loop in East Clare, and the Graves of the Leinstermen Loop in North Tipperary; Long-Distance Way Marked Ways such as the Lough Derg Way; and Linear Walks like the Keeper Hill Trek and Slí Eala near Dromineer.

Also included are Driving Routes and Heritage Trails such as the renowned Lough Derg Drive, the Killaloe Historic Town Trail and the Nenagh Medieval Food Tour; cycling trails like the North Tipperary Cycling Network and Lough Derg Cycleway, and water-based trails like a Lough Derg Cruising Trail and a Lough Derg Canoe Trail. It is intended that additional trails will be added over the coming months.

To download the app for free, simply search for Lough Derg Trails in the iPhone AppStore or the Android Market. For further information and visit eveytrail.com click here

ot to visit shannon regions .ie click here

About The Lough Derg Marketing Strategy Group:
The LDMG was established to bring a coherent marketing focus to the Lough Derg Catchment area and to establish the Lough Derg Brand nationally and internationally.

The LDMG involves a broad range of representation from stakeholders, including local authorities from Clare, Galway, and North Tipperary, the Mid-West Regional Authority (Secretariat to the group), Shannon Development, Waterways Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, and business representatives from the Lough Derg area.

In 2011, the Group finalised a Destination Development Action Plan which will provide a roadmap for the tourism economy over the next number of years. It also devised a comprehensive new signage programme for the Lough Derg area, while local tourism businesses were supported through a number of seminars and training initiatives.

About the Shannon Region International Trails Programme:
Since 2007 over 60 trail projects, involving partnership investment of approximately €5m have been developed under the Programme. There has been a 40% increase in overseas participants in hiking and hill walking to the Shannon Region since 2006 and a 35% increase in tourism revenue from walking activities in the same period. A number of new festivals have also come about as a result of the trail investment programme. The website, www.ShannonRegionTrails.ie is a comprehensive resource where you can find an abundance of information including GPS data, directions and detailed maps for lots of great trails, including walking, cycling, mountain biking, driving, equestrian, canoeing, surfing, scuba diving and more.


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