GREAT READING: “I saw the enormous potential of trekking tourism on the Camino in Spain”

I’m excited to say that season 3 of my Travel Tales with Fergal podcast has started this week, with new episodes coming out on all podcast platforms every Tuesday for the rest of the year.

I have a new feature called Destination Specials where I dedicate an episode to a location or region.

I have traveled in recent weeks for hikes in the central mountains of Portugal and the famous Camino Way in Spain.

I have seen with my own eyes on these trips how important activity tourism is to their economies and the growth potential of tourism in Tipperary.

I wrote an article a few weeks ago where I said that we are fortunate to be surrounded by mountains which provide world class trekking opportunities which could allow Clonmel to become the trekking tourism capital of Ireland.

We have the natural resources at our feet, and I wrote that all we need is the imagination and the will, combined with the government and local support to make it happen.

I will go into my travels in Portugal and Spain in detail on the podcast and in this column in the coming weeks but to summarize what I have learned is that in Portugal the government is investing heavily in infrastructure and marketing to transform their central mountainous region into a tourist activity destination.

Then I saw the enormous potential of hiking tourism on the Camino which has more than a million walkers each year in very remote areas where tourism is now the main industry.

They expect between five and seven million walkers next year, because it is a holy year. To put this in perspective, the new St Declan’s Way has a target of 20,000 per year.

But it shows the enormous potential of activity tourism.

The Portuguese and Spanish governments have seen the depopulation of their remote rural areas and have decided to remedy it.

The Portuguese saw the trends towards slow, ethical and less crowded travel and they are now pushing the central mountains as an outdoor hotspot.

The central mountains of Portugal were traditionally a large textile industrial area and did not depend on tourism.

The government is working with local communities to build remote coworking centers and on sustainable tourism projects such as local food festivals.

This is the future of tourism and Tipperary is perfectly positioned to capitalize on similar opportunities.

I started my Travel Reports with Fergal Podcast a year ago in October 2020 at the height of the pandemic in the hopes that the podcast would help rekindle my listeners’ memories of past trips and inspire people to dream. of future adventures.

Over the past year, the podcast has grown into Ireland’s # 1 travel podcast and is now listened to in over 80 countries around the world.

I’m excited to say that Season 3 kicked off this week with an interview with American comedy legend Reginald D Hunter. Reg will perform at O’Keeffe’s Comedy Club in Clonmel on Saturday January 29.

Celebrating its 3rd season, Travel Tales with Fergal Podcast interviews special guests who talk about travel, culture, people, food, politics, history, the tourism industry and expatriate life, to cite just a few topics.

The podcast has a very simple premise where I chat every week with a special guest about the five trips or places that have influenced them the most.

We talk about their travels, adventures and experiences abroad with a wide range of guests from the arts, sports, journalism, travel and expats.

Customers come from all walks of life with one thing in common. They all have great travel stories and have included Anthony Daly, Keith Wood, Mark O’Halloran, Louise Nealon, Alan McGee, Manchan Magan, and David McWilliams.

The podcast has brilliant guests for Season 3 including writers Russ Parsons and Thomas Breathnach and comedian Karl Spain to name a few.

This week’s first episode stars comedian Reginald D Hunter bringing his stand-up show “Bombe Shuffler” to Clonmel in January.

Not afraid to tackle head-on topics the rest of us sidestep, Reginald is the voice of his generation – startlingly honest, brutally funny, and uniquely placed to comment on the collapse of life as we know it.

The Travel Tales with Fergal podcast comes out every Tuesday across all podcast platforms and people can follow all of its updates on @traveltaleswithfergal on Instagram and Facebook and @FergalTravel on Twitter.

All podcasts are on traveltaleswithfergal.ie.

About Opal Jones

Opal Jones

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