Castleisland Hosts First Kerry Meeting on Tourism Strategy 2016-2020

The River Island Hotel to host the first in the series of county-wide tourism strategy meetings. ©Photograph: John Reidy
The River Island Hotel to host the first in the series of county-wide tourism strategy meetings. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Castleisland has the honour of hosting the first in a series of county-wide, public meetings to take the pulse of the tourism industry throughout County Kerry.
The River Island Hotel is the venue on this Tuesday evening, May 5th at 7pm.
Destination Kerry Tourism Forum is the umbrella body for tourism in the county. It was  established by Kerry County Council and is organising this series of public meetings in relation to the new Kerry Tourism Strategy to be pursued over the period from 2016-2020.
Meetings will take place at seven venues throughout the county over the next two weeks and conclude in Kenmare on Monday, May 18th.
Kerry is Ireland’s premier tourist destination. With approximately 25% of employment in the county related to the tourism sector it is a significant economic and social sector here.
The recently-announced Government plan for tourism projects a growth of up to 50% over the next decade. It is planned that Kerry will  contribute significantly to that growth.
The new tourism strategy for the county will involve engagement with a range of stakeholders who may have an interest in tourism, including local communities across the county.
The strategy will have  five over-arching themes and these include:
Protection and enhancement of Kerry’s natural and built environment, so as to continue to provide a high quality visitor experience built on the natural and built environment.
Provision of a world class experience for the visitor with examples of state of the art tourism experiences.
Close working arrangements across the tourism sector, including between local communities and the various State agencies together so as to deliver the strategy in a timely and effective manner .
Embracing of new technologies to enhance the visitor experience, and ensuring a successful and prosperous tourism sector for the county.
Separate Working Groups are being established to examine the following areas::
Adventure Tourism; Natural and Cultural Heritage; Infrastructure; Branding and Marketing; Community Tourism; Events and Festivals; Education and Enterprise.
“This is the widest consultation on Kerry Tourism ever undertaken,” according to Joan McCarthy, the head of Tourism Development with Kerry County Council. It is being supported by Fáilte Ireland and other state agencies, Chambers of Tourism and development partnerships.
The new Tourism Strategy will form part of the wider Local Economic and Community Plan being prepared by Kerry County Council and this should be finalised by mid-2016.
For further information, or to make a submission  which must be done before June 30th 2015.
Anyone wishing to make a submission is invited to contact the Tourism Unit of Kerry County Council at:  Telephone:  066 71 83591 / 71 83581