At the Tipperary Tourism seminar in Thurles, Aisling and Simone Hassett of Templemore Park Fairy Trail and Shannon Forrest of Fethard Horse Country Experience
The value of tourism to the local economies across Tipperary towns, villages and rural communities was highlighted by Tipperary County Cathaoirleach Cllr Phyll Bugler, at a seminar organised by Tipperary Tourism.
The seminar, part of Local Enterprise Week, was held in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, and attracted stakeholders from across the Premier County.
"In 2013, 323,000 domestic and international visitors came to Tipperary worth €74m to the economy. In 2016, the latest figures available from Fáilte Ireland shows us this has grown to over 400,000 visitors worth over €110m annually," Cllr Bugler revealed.
She noted the importance of sustainability and added: "We need to have a sustainable tourism product that can continue to attract visitors supporting employment and growth in the industry for the future."
Una Ryan, Tipperary Tourism, told the seminar that in the past 18 months, Tipperary Tourism had published a new map and guide for the county, as well as a walking guide; commissioned illustrations of the top tourist attractions used in postcards; was working with the tourism trade to create experiential offers that can be sold to domestic and international visitors with the support of Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland, and had engaged in a marketing and PR campaign.
Over the next three years, Tipperary Tourism will target the market segments most appropriate to the county as identified by Fáilte Ireland, including the Culturally Curious, Connected Families and Great Escapers.
Marie Phelan, tourism development officer with Tipperary County Council, showcased the work of Tipperary County Council in relation to tourism development projects across Tipperary, including the Munster Vales, Lough Derg and The Butler Trail.
She also spoke about the importance of food tourism and the work to date in partnership with the Tipperary Food Producers Network including the production of The Tipperary Food Tour book and the development of a new food tourism trail.
Joe MacGrath, chief executive with Tipperary County Council reiterated the Council’s commitment to the further development of tourism in the county.
Before the event began, participants were treated to afternoon tea featuring the Tipperary Food Producers Network.
Luke Murtagh, chair of Tipperary Tourism, made a presentation to Birdhill Tidy Town's to acknowledge their success in winning the National Tidy Towns award.