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Ultreia Project. Ireland activities, 28-30 June 2010-09-29 20-06-2010

Ireland activities, 28-30 June 2010-09-29

During the days 28, 29 and 30 of June different activities took place in the West and North West of Ireland, the region of the Irish member. Among these activities it is important to mention an Organizing Committee, a Seminar and a Study Trip, which are explained below:

Monday 28th June: Organizing Committee

All members attended the Organizing Committee, which was managed by the Project Coordinator, the General Secretary of tourism, represented by the Regional Head of Culture and Tourism of the province of Pontevedra, José María Picallo, and the Head of Department of European programmes of that secretary, José Luis Maestro. This committee was held in the Park Hotel situated in Kiltimagh in May.
Following the proposed agenda every member explained the situation in which the steps which are currently being taken are situated. They told before the rest of the partnership the situation of each one of these steps and the work which will be developed for them in the next months. Agenda 21 and the Itinerant Exhibition were situated among these steps.

The Project Coordinator-General Secretary for Tourism has explained the steps to follow in the next months. These steps are those which will mark the planning of: on the one hand, the transverse activities of the project and which are divided into three parts: coordination and managements (current actions and planning), and promotion, information and capitalization. And on the other hand, the activities themselves of the project, among which it is important to mention:

Activity 3: Design and implementation of a tourist Agenda 21 in the areas implied in five of the membership, since the member from the Diocese of Beja does not take this activity into account. The General Council of Le Manche and the Council Commission of Valença are those members who have developed this Agenda 21 the most.

It is necessary to explain that during this Organizing Committee, the partnership approved unanimously the suggestion of extending the project for six months more, until 30th June 2011. Because if it had been fulfilled next December as it was expected , there would not be enough time to carry out these activities.

In this reprogramming, activities 4 and 5 have suffered some variations which are mentioned below:

Activity 4: Exchange of information and experience. The memberships agreed in the reprogramming of the activities of the project. This way, in January 2011, the seminary will take place in the area of the Diocese of Beja. And the second event, a congress, will take place in Galicia, in May 2011. This congress will be that which will close the project, and thus, it will be the moment in which the final results will be explained. In January, the Study Trip and Organizing Committee will also take place in Beja. It will be the same in Galicia in May, together with the congress.

Acitivity 5: Creation of a regional transnational tourist product related to maritime and inland pilgrimages towards Compostela.

In this activity the following acts will be developed:

-A Tourist Tour about the subject of the project, throughout the areas of the six countries implied.

-A Transnational Guide who will promote this tourist tour.

-A Fam Trip and a Press Trip to show this product to touroperators, travel agents and journalists. This way, a higher diffusion and promotion of the tourist product created will be reached.

-An itinerant exhibition, which will be on display both in Galicia and in the area of the Portuguese member: Diocese of Beja and the Council Commission of Valença do Minho. However, French and Irish members will also send samples which will be on display in this itinerant exhibition. Therefore, all six areas implied will be represented as well as the topic of maritime and inland pilgrimages towards Compostela.

During the Organizing Committee, Joe Kelly made a speech. He is the Chief Manager of the organization IRD Kiltimagh Ltd, which was in charge of implementing this project some acts related to Agenda 21 of recovering country areas in the surroundings of this place, Kiltimagh. He also explained the financial support to carry out these acts.

This is the place where the partnership stayed during its stay in Ireland. Therefore, it could check all the maintenance work which has been carried out by this entity, IRD Kiltimagh Ltd, for a long time.

Tuesday, 29 June: Seminar “Potential of Pilgrimage Tourism”

This seminar took place in the “Museum of Country Life”, in Castlebar, in the county of Mayo. In this seminar each member explained about the situation of its regions related to the subject of the seminar. Among several questions, it was about what is being done in each region implied in the ULTREIA project to develop and promote the product “Pilgrimage Tourism”.

The different speeches which took place this day are explained carefully above:

On behalf of the General Secretary of Tourism, this seminar counted on the speech by José María Picallo Búa, the regional Head of Culture and Tourism in the city of Pontevedra. During his speech, under the title “Way to Santiago. First European Cultural Itinerary. National and International Galician Pilgrimage Routes. Xacobeo product and brand”, he spoke about all these routes, Galician, national and international, which meet in the Holy City: Santiago de Compostela. He also explained about how important the pilgrims’ trail is for Galicia from a socioeconomic point of view. In order to finish, he explained the Xacobeo product and brand, and the impact on this region’s tourism.

On behalf of the Foundation for the development of the municipality of Santiago, the seminar counted on the presence of Fernando Vicente Davila, manager of this organization. The title of his speech was “The potential of Pilgrimage Tourism in the municipality of Santiago”. In this, he spoke about the different routes towards Compostela, which meet in its area and which is formed by seven town councils with similar natural and historic characteristics. These municipalities combine country and urban aspects in their development. This organization has been working in economic, social and tourist areas by means of different European projects to promote and encourage local initiatives and this municipality’s endogenous development.

Then, Deborah Lally presented her speech under the title “Lough Derg, its history and the role it played on the development of the Celtic heritage”

Then, Maureen Lally presented her speech under the title “Communitarian development and Grogh Patrick’s Cultural Route”.

The Diocese of Beja, under the title “A transitional reality: Cultural and religious Tourism in Baixo Alentejo”, explained through its spokesman, José Antonio Falcao, about how the number of tourists who go through the different routes in Baixo Alentejo according to the results corresponding to 2009, has increased, among other questions.

He also spoke about the great intensification of local and regional parties, mainly focused on marian sanctuaries.

Then, Frances McGettigan, Tourism teacher in Athlone Institute of technology, developed an interesting speech under the title “Religious tourism in France and Normandy, their places and their visitors. She also focused her speech on Mount Saint-Michel.

On behalf of Council Commission of Valença do Minho, the major of GNR, Alberto Pereira de Castro, closed this seminar with his speech under the title “The different Pilgrimage Routes”, where he explained the bases for a cultural and religious tourism. He spoke about the Central Way and the atlantic or Coastal Way, as well as about the coastline and Northern Portugal, and fluvial routes. Also, about the situation point of tourist interest, what Europe is interested in, and about the natural heritage and its contribution to the cultural and religious enrichment.

Wednesday, 30th June: Study Trip-Implantation of agendas 21.

Along this day a Study Trip related to one of the pillars of this ULTREIA project: the implantation of agenda 21, was carried out.

The chosen place was the site where the remains of the famous poet, W.B. Yeats, are situated, in the Columbian Monastery, dating back to the 6th century. Near the place, a curious shop was visited, which has been rebuilt and prepared for the selling of local typical products: tea, coffee, clothes...

Then, the partnership went to an island called Lough Derg by boat, which is a pilgrimage point also called Saint Patrick’s purgatory. The members were very surprised and checked themselves that it’s a very special place, a sanctuary of peace and personal achievement, which has been receiving pilgrims for 1,000 years.

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