North Tipperary Tourism Company (NTTCL) recently organised a tourism networking event which culminated in a guided tour of Holycross Abbey.
The networking event was held in the splendid setting of Inch House - Country House and Restaurant and was attended by tourism providers in North Tipperary. Some of the accommodation providers that attended included Maryville B&B, Nenagh; The Horse and Jockey Hotel; and Terryglass Cottages while some of the product providers that attended included The Thatched Cottage in Ballycommon, The Spirit of Killaloe, Ballina, and Farney Castle.
Pierce Duggan, Chairperson of NTTCL briefed all present on the background and operation of NTTCL. Attracta Lyons, North Tipperary County Council and a member of NTTCL, provided an update on tourism developments and promotions that took place throughout 2012 by NTTCL.
Ms. Lyons provided attendees with an update on The Gathering 2013 initiative in North Tipperary offering examples of ‘gatherings’ which are already planned for 2013 in Tipperary that have been posted to The Gathering 2013 website www.thegatheringireland.com such as the Aglish Stepping Stones Gathering and the Nenagh Silent Film Festival Gathering. The Gathering 2013 is being promoted through a €15million Tourism Ireland marketing campaign in Ireland and abroad to encourage anyone who has Irish blood, a link to Ireland, or even just a love of our country to visit Ireland for series of festivals and events throughout 2013. They will range from clan gatherings where people will discover their roots, to rugby clubs inviting foreign teams to their sevens tournament, to groups of international business colleagues conferencing in Ireland or alumni reunions. Gatherings taking place in Tipperary will be uploaded onto the gathering website as well as www.tipperary.com.
The tourism providers were also briefed on Ireland Reaching Out (IXO) which is a ‘reverse genealogy’ initiative involving the tracing and recording of all the people who left an area, parish or community, and seeking out their living descendents worldwide. Those identified or recognised as persons of Irish heritage or affiliation are invited to become part of a new extended Irish society through a series of events organised within the community. Ms Lyons stated that “This pilot project is an opportunity to boost tourism and bring economic benefit to the area. Already a number of communities have signed up to become involved in the initiative which is being supported by North Tipperary LEADER Partnership who has an animator employed to assist groups develop their IXO projects across North Tipperary”.
Áine Mc Carthy, Tourism Development and Liaison Officer with North Tipperary County Council, advised the attendees of an opportunity to create a new website through the ‘Getting Irish Business Online’ initiative. In addition to this she advised tourism providers to network with each other to create special offers and packages for visitors for 2013 which would be used to promote Tipperary at home and abroad in 2012 through avenues such as trade shows, Facebook, www.tipperary.com and consumer ezines.
John Burke from Holycross Community Network who was invited to the networking event to promote a new tourism product in Holycross briefed the group on the creation of Holycross Abbey Guided Tours. Holycross Community Network is a grouping of like minded individuals who wish to promote Holycross. With funding from North Tipperary LEADER Partnership, the network put a training programme in place which saw 19 individuals from the community being trained as tour guides for Holycross Abbey. Tours are free until Easter and are offered on Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at 2.30pm (Sunday Mass is scheduled for 4.00pm) and every Wednesday at 2.30pm.
John Burke and Tom Gallagher gave an excellent tour of Holycross Abbey to the tourism providers and Councillor Eddie Moran, a member of NTTCL, commented that “this is an excellent venture for the community of Holycross to get involved in the promotion of their area and the iconic Holycross Abbey. Hopefully it will result in an increasing number of visitors to the village and have a spin off affect in other local attractions in the area as well as local shops, restaurants and pubs”
North Tipperary Tourism Company plans to organise their next networking event in Cloughjordan in the spring. Should you wish to contact North Tipperary Tourism Company, you can do so by phoning 067 44522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org