2023 marks the 30th anniversary of Discover Boyne Valley. The Boyne Valley brand has been delivering a compelling offering in the leisure and business tourism markets across County Meath and more recently south County Louth. Anchored on our unique heritage and culture, our marketing strategy aims to provide an integrated and collaborative marketing approach to deliver outstanding quality experiences for our visitors, regenerating increased demand for tourism services and increased tourism revenue for the region. Let's look back on the stand out moments that have shaped our tourism experiences over the years.
1993- Brú na Bóinne inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List
Brú na Bóinne wa inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1993. The site has welcomed thousands of visitors from across the world every year and continues to attract visitors to this day.
1995- Meath Tourism Attend their first Holiday World Show in Belfast!
Promoting the region all over Ireland has always been the main focus of the team at Boyne Valley Tourism. The picture above was the organisation's first trip to the Holiday World Show to tell visitors all about our great holiday destination.
1996- Launch of the Trim Tourist Trail
Trim has always been a popular town to visit, and in 1996, the first Tourist trail was launched.
1997- Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre Opens
Just 4 years after it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, the new visitor centre opened in Donore. The centre was opened by minister Micheal D.Higgins.
1997- Meath Tourism Video launched.
Soon after the visitor centre at Brú na Bóinne was opened, Meath Tourism launched a video to promote the area. Membership was increasing and projects were gaining pace in Meath before the start of the new Millenium.
1999- Meath Tourism wins Avis Tourism Marketing Award
1999 saw a lot of hard work pay off as the organisation won “Best Brochure” in the Avis Marketing Tourism award.
1999- Pierce Brosnan awarded the Freedom of Navan
At the height of his James Bond career, Pierce Brosnan was enthusiastically welcomed back to Navan, Co Meath by hundreds of well-wishers when he came to receive the Freedom of the town in 1999. The first freeman of Navan, Brosnan was presented with a vellum scroll certifying his new status and an oil painting depicting the views from his old home. He attended the ceremony with his mother and son Chris.
2000- Trim Castle reopens
“A rediscovered great hall and its undercroft, the site of a harbour and an intact medieval laneway are among the features of the newly reopened Trim Castle in Co Meath.” Although the Castle has always been a part of the town, the Castle was reopen to the public once again in 2000.
2005- Meath Tourism Attends St Patrick's Day in London
Spreading the word of the region continued into the new millennium with trips like the one above to London's St Patrick's Day Parade in 2005.
2007- More awards!
Meath Tourism once again took the gong for best tourism brochure at the 2007 Hospitality Sales and Marketing Awards in Dublin. The region now boasted a host of new hotels and accommodation providers to complement its offering.
2008- Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre opens
Following a careful programme of restoration and development, the house, its stables and adjoining gardens opened to the public in 2008 as a new visitor centre exploring the history and heritage of the Battle of the Boyne. This famous battle was one of the defining moments in Irish history. It was opened jointly by then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Northern Ireland's First Minister, Ian Paisley.
2009- Spirits of Meath Festival launches
What began in 2009 is now a month-long festival of events celebrating the birthplace of Halloween right here in the Boyne Valley.
2010- Ireland's largest theme park opens
What we now know today as Emerald Park opened in 2010 as Tayto Park. It was designed by Stewart and Sinnott Architects, landscaper Anthony Ryan and designer Milo Fitzgerald, with an €8.5 million investment from Ray Coyle, the potato farmer who established Largo Foods, and bought out the Tayto brand.
2010- Launch of the Meath Business and Tourism Awards
The Meath Business Awards were launched by the Meath Chronicle in partnership with Meath County Council and Meath Tourism. “The awards will culminate in a black tie gala awards ceremony at Dunboyne Castle Hotel on 4th November next, modelled on the successful template already in use for the annual Meath Sports Awards.”
2011- Solheim Cup comes to Killeen Castle
The prestigious Solheim Cup came to Ireland and Killeen Castle in 2011. Brian Wallace, on behalf of Killeen Castle said: “The nomination to stage The Solheim Cup makes another bold statement about Ireland as the leading golf destination in Europe. We at Killeen Castle promise to make it an occasion to remember as the best Solheim Cup ever staged.
2013- The Gathering
The Gathering Ireland 2013 has been described as “the largest ever tourism initiative” in Ireland. But, as the project gained momentum throughout the year, it became much more than that. With over 5,000 events organised by families, communities and other groups in every part of the country, this truly was a ‘People’s Project’ that captured the imagination and provided the platform to welcome and host our visitors from across the globe. Boyne Valley Toursim hosted several events over the year.
2015- Launch of the Adventure Brochure
Another new brochure came to fruition in 2015 with the launch of the Boyne Valley Adventure Brochure. The new brochure highlighted all the great activities available in the region.
2018- Launch of the Boyne Valley Flags
Members of the Boyne Valley Tourism Network came together in 2018 to launch the new Boyne Valley flags. The flags are still flown at all member properties.
2018- Kells Courthouse and Cultural Tourism Hub opens
The Kells Courthouse project was completed through funding from Fáilte Ireland and Meath County Council and the new tourist office and state of the art exhibition opened its doors in May 2018. This is a great opportunity to highlight Kells and North Meath and promote greater dwell time in the area.
2020/2021- Pandemic and Recovery
After an incredibly hard 2020 and 2021, facing several lockdowns and a decrease in demand, the members of Discover Boyne Valley looked forward to a busier 2021 and 2022.
2022- Trim Porchfield Walk opens
Trim's Porchfield, which has been transformed into an engaging outdoor space through funding from the Fáilte Ireland ‘Destination Town Capital Investment Scheme’ was officially launched by Meath County Council Cathaoirleach, Seán Drew.
2022- Boyne Blueway Trim is launched.
The Boyne Blueway Trim was officially launched following its achievement of accreditation as a Blueway. The Leas-Cathaoirleach Meath County Council Cllr. Mike Bray launched the Blueway at the Blueway trailhead on Jonathan Swift Street, Trim. This marks the opening of an 8km water stretch from Trim to Bective Mill for water activities, suitable for beginners and intermediate level paddlers.
2023- Work Continues on the Boyne Valley to Lakelands Greenway
Cathaoirleach of Kells Municipal District Cllr. Eugene Cassidy was joined by Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, recently to officially open Castletown Trail.
The looped trail secured grant funding of €200,000 under the 2019 Outdoor Recreational Infrastructure scheme (ORIS) and saw the construction of a footpath from the graveyard to the existing railway crossing to link the village to the Castletown end of the Greenway. Another section of footpath was constructed at the northern end of the greenway to connect back to the village, completing the loop of the Castletown trail.
We look forward to plenty more announcements, launches and busy times ahead in the Boyne Valley. Lets see what the next thirty years will bring!
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Press clippings courtesy of Meath Chronicle, Irish Times, RTE and Drogheda Independent.