The stories behind Ireland’s Ancient East’s castles and Vikings are set to be brought to life through Fáilte Ireland’s long-term "Castles and Conquests" and "Vikings" tourism plans.
Over 60 tourism businesses took part in a bespoke workshop at the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny last week to develop stories and experiences centred on the castles in their area, helping to create a more connected visitor experience in towns across Ireland’s Ancient East and, in turn, drive increased visitor numbers to the region.
With Vikings, Normans and castles playing a fundamental role in the region’s built heritage, counties including Kilkenny, Laois, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath and Wexford have been identified as having potential to evolve as areas with a strong cluster of attractions that can draw international visitors.
This work will feed into the "Castles and Conquests" and "Vikings" tourism plans, which local tourism businesses and stakeholders are working closely on, and will play a key role in extending the season and increasing dwell time in the region.
"A True Gem"
Speaking about the workshop, head of Ireland’s Ancient East at Fáilte Ireland, Jenny De Saulles, said, "The stories and history behind the amazing variety of castles in Ireland’s Ancient East are a true gem in the region’s international offering. Vikings and castles, and their storied pasts, are hugely appealing to our core overseas markets. In order to encourage them to visit the region and stay in the area for longer, we need to ensure that we can offer a really compelling visitor experience in terms of storytelling and bringing the area’s rich history to life – key elements of the Ireland’s Ancient East brand.
"Visitor numbers and revenue generated by tourism across Ireland’s Ancient East are already on a strong footing through the brand, and the long-term 'Castles and Conquests' and 'Vikings' plans will help to bring even more visitors here. Thanks to all the local businesses who contributed to the plan - we will continue to work alongside the industry to improve visitor experiences across the region."
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.