Lingaun Valley Plans Tourism Growth
The Lingaun Valley Tourism workshop, hosted by Fáilte Ireland, saw an impressive turnout with 55 members from the communities of Kilkenny and Tipperary meeting at the Carraig Hotel.
Justine Carey, manager of the Ireland’s Ancient East brand, highlighted the cross-border Lingaun Valley’s region's potential for a tourism transformation, based on the Ireland’s Ancient East brand focus and the Lingaun’s own prestige heritage sites. Justine suggested this sustainable development could be facilitated by community-driven accommodations and attractions, working with private businesses.
Bane Mullarkey, the facilitators of the workshop, emphasised the significance of fostering sustainable tourism success through collaborative efforts from a mix of tourism providers. This collaboration results in a better experience for visitors. The facilitators underlined the role of communities in Irish tourism, from driving annual festivals to the dedication of Tidy Towns committees.
The workshop delved into visitor research shared by Failte Ireland regarding visitor expectations and preferences. The pivotal role of overnight stays was highlighted as a necessity to grow a sustainable visitor experience while maximising spending within the community.
The workshop included insights, case studies and examples showcasing successful collaborations around Ireland, such as the Burren Ecotourism and “Geopark” initiative in County Clare.
The “speed networking” part of the event provided a platform for participants to engage and exchange thoughts on challenges and opportunities for increasing future visitor awareness and attraction for the Lingaun Valley.
Jimmy Walsh, PRO for the Lingaun Valley Tourism Group, welcomed the ideas aimed at attracting visitors while safeguarding the special natural environment. He reminded the group of the upcoming Solstice Festival at Knockroe on December 21st and encouraged attendance at what has become a wonderful and moving greeting of the sunrise on that day sacred to the ancients.