Kilkenny County Council and Ireland’s local authorities have announced plans to invest €156 million in new tourism projects.
Local authorities want to build on €100 million funding over the last five years, particularly in light of Brexit, the ‘Tourism is Everyone’s Business’ conference in Cork heard on Thursday (April 4).
Organised by the County and City Management Association (CCMA) in association with Fáilte Ireland, the conference brought together local authority staff and other industry stakeholders to consider new ways to strengthen Ireland’s tourism offering and appeal to diverse markets, home and abroad.
A new report released at the conference reveals Ireland’s City and County Councils plan to develop 256 new tourism projects with a total investment of €156 million.
If you are planning a trip to Kilkenny over the Easter Break, make sure to add a visit to the Medieval Mile Museum to your itinerary!If you are visiting Kilkenny Castle, you will see us from the beautiful Rose Garden. #KilkennyMMM pic.twitter.com/SoThAd00Lu
— Medieval Mile Museum (@KilkennyMMM) April 14, 2019
The money will be used for new walking trails, discovery centres, cultural plazas, harbours, and sports facilities. An additional €205 million will be leveraged by local authorities from external agencies.
Ann Doherty, Chair of the CCMA Economic and Enterprise Committee, said: “We are continually looking for new ways to reach out to potential visitors and in the last year over €8 million was invested in tourism promotion with a further €6m provided to fund 292 new innovative tourism projects including ambassador programmes; international collaborations, and new food and cultural festivals.
She added: “Making great places to live, work and visit is at the heart of what local authorities do. Tourism supports almost a quarter of a million jobs across the country and brings more than €5bn into the country each year from overseas visitors.”
Kilkenny County Council Senior Executive Officer Brian Tyrrell also spoke at the conference, on the topic of Ireland’s Medieval Mile.
The Medieval Mile is a discovery trail running through the centre of Kilkenny, linking the 13th-century St Canice’s Cathedral and Kilkenny Castle.
Fáilte Ireland CEO, Paul Kelly, said: “Tourism is a major economic driver and contributes hugely to communities across the country both socially and as a key source of employment.
“Alongside Fáilte Ireland’s ongoing investment in visitor experiences and product across the country, the additional funding for tourism announced by councils today will make a significant contribution to how Ireland attracts tourists from around the world.”
International Rugby Experience and free-roam VR
Elsewhere, work on the International Rugby Experience in Limerick is set to begin, while Irish company Virtual Reality Gaming (VRG) will bring the Zero Latency’s leading multiplayer, free-roam VR experience to Ireland and London.