National conference highlights the vital role of Local Authorities in developing and supporting Tourism
Kilkenny Cathoirleach Matt Doran, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O'Donovan, Chief Executive Colette Byrne and Brian Tyrrell, Senior Executive Officer.
On March 29th & 30th, the local government sector hosted a national tourism conference entitled ‘Collaborate Locally to Compete Globally’ in Enniscorthy which highlighted significant Irish tourism success stories and reinforced the role of local authorities in facilitating this success.
Supported by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, key speakers included Jim Deegan, Professor of Tourism at Limerick University, Raymond Coyle of Tayto Park, Paul Kelly from Fáilte Ireland, David McLoughlin of the Wexford Opera Festival and Simon Kay of Center Parcs.
The Irish tourism market is actively supported by local government and a number of government agencies, who work positively on national, regional and local initiatives.
Local government leveraged a total capital investment of €171 million in tourist attractions between 2011 and 2016, €73.3million of which was invested by local authorities , while the matching capital sourced by stakeholders such as e.g. Fáilte Ireland, DTTAS). This supported 259 attractions and plans are advancing for a further 121 new tourism products.
Tourism is a critical economic driver in Kilkenny and local government and partner stakeholders continue to invest in tourism infrastructure setting a high standard for heritage tourism as well as enhancing Kilkenny’s attractiveness as a place to live work and invest. Management and investment in key heritage assets, as evidenced by the Civic Trust’s development of the Medieval Mile Museum, delivers real return to the local economy. Marketing the Kilkenny brand as a hero site in Ireland’s Ancient East and promoting the Medieval Mile of Ireland are central to further developing a world class visitor destination.
In Ireland, over 1,400 events and festivals are supported by local authorities every year, contributing to local economies. Over 70 events were supported throughout Kilkenny city and county in 2016 .Much of the support provided by local authorities at events goes unnoticed, but is vital to the success of events; such as project management, clean ups, administrative support, health and safety, all put in place so that people can enjoy their day.
The Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan TD said: