Tourism strat­egy aims to make county No1 choice

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

A NEW Tourism Strat­egy and Mar­ket­ing Plan for Co Wick­low aims to make the Gar­den County the no.1 choice for vis­i­tors seek­ing idyl­lic es­capes.

The plan, which was launched last week along­side a new Wick­low Out­doors brand, could see the cre­ation of 1,000 jobs and added in­come for the county of €43m in the next four years.

Speak­ing at the launch in the Brock­agh Rescource Cen­tre, Cathaoir­leach of Wick­low County Coun­cil Clr Pat Vance said that the clear aim of the strat­egy was to ‘make Wick­low the num­ber one choice for vis­i­tors seek­ing an idyl­lic es­cape’ while also driv­ing lo­cal job cre­ation.

‘Be­tween our Tourism Strat­egy and Mar­ket­ing Plan and our new Wick­low Out­doors Brand, we will en­sure that Wick­low with its range of out­door ac­tiv­i­ties – walk­ing, hik­ing, cy­cling, moun­tain bik­ing, horse rid­ing, golf­ing, kayak­ing, surf­ing, trail run­ning to name but a few – will be­come Ire­land’s pre­mier out­door des­ti­na­tion.’

The plan was launched by the Min­is­ter for Health Si­mon Har­ris who said they were ‘not just launch­ing a plan, we a launch­ing a vi­sion – a vi­sion for the fu­ture of our county’.

‘This is an ex­cit­ing step for every­one in­volved in the sec­tor across our county. I want to com­mend every­one who worked so hard to de­velop this strat­egy. The work­ing group has done a real ser­vice for County Wick­low. It is also im­por­tant to ac­knowl­edge Wick­low County Coun­cil’s lead­er­ship in this area. The coun­cil has driven tourism plan­ning in the county and I look for­ward to work­ing with them and our Wick­low com­mu­ni­ties to build on this vi­sion,’ said Min­is­ter Har­ris.

The event also saw the launch of the Wick­low Out­doors brand from Wick­low County Tourism which high­lights the grow­ing mar­ket for out­door ac­tiv­i­ties for res­i­dents and tourists alike.

Wick­low County Coun­cil worked with Wick­low County Tourism and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the tourism trade to cre­ate the vi­sion and agree the pri­or­i­ties and ob­jec­tives of the strat­egy. Blue Sail Con­sul­tants were en­gaged to de­velop and pro­duce the strat­egy which, al­though ac­knowl­edged as am­bi­tious, with some chal­leng­ing tar­gets, is also said to be very prac­ti­cal and achiev­able. The next step will be to es­tab­lish an Im­ple­men­ta­tion Group to en­sure that tar­gets are met.

Cllr Vance spoke about Wick­low’s rank­ing as a top 10 tourism des­ti­na­tion and the op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther de­velop the prod­uct, and in­spire job cre­ation. He spoke about the ‘in­cred­i­ble scenery, rich cul­tural her­itage, fan­tas­tic out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, great food, drink and ac­com­mo­da­tion and above all the friendly peo­ple and great sto­ries which Wick­low has in abun­dance.’

Frank Cur­ran, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Wick­low County Coun­cil and Chair­man of Wick­low County Tourism, said that tourism was one of the ‘main driv­ers’ of job cre­ation in the lo­cal econ­omy.

‘Work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with statu­tory agen­cies such as Failte Ire­land, NPWS, OPW, Coillte, along with Town Teams and lo­cal tourism providers will en­sure that a pow­er­ful and united mes­sage is pro­moted; Wick­low is the num­ber one choice for vis­i­tors seek­ing an idyl­lic es­cape in a world class nat­u­ral arena,’ said Mr Cur­ran.

‘I am re­li­ably in­formed that ev­ery €1m of tourism rev­enue sup­ports 27 jobs in the lo­cal­ity. Through this strat­egy we aim to grow our tourism rev­enue by €43m in the next four years – that is over 1,000 jobs.’

Pat O’Suil­leab­hain, General Man­ager of Sea Life Cen­tre and Chair­man of the County Wick­low Tourism De­vel­op­ment Group, ex­plained that Wick­low has long held all the in­gre­di­ents to make a fan­tas­tic tourism prod­uct and now has the cor­rect recipe to fol­low to achieve this.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the County Wick­low Tourism Strat­egy and Mar­ket­ing Plan or the Wick­low Out­doors brand visit www.wick­low.ie or www.vis­itwick­low.ie

Min­is­ter Si­mon Har­ris, who launched the strat­egy, with Pat Reid at the Brock­agh Re­source Cen­tre.

Brian Dunne and Bryan Fen­nell.

Aoife Pat­ter­son and Joan Ka­vanagh.

Myra Porter and Mick Glynn.

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