The Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan T.D., officially launched the Local Authorities Tourism Conference “Collaborate Locally to Compete Globally” in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.
The conference heard from a number of key speakers, including Jim Deegan, Professor of Tourism at Limerick University, Raymond Coyle of Tayto Park, Paul Kelly from Fáilte Ireland, David McLoughlin of the Wexford Opera Festival and Simon Kay of Center Parcs.
Under the tagline “People, Place and Policy – Growing Tourism to 2025”, the Government’s Tourism Policy Statement commits to giving Local Authorities an enhanced role in tourism.
The subsequent Tourism Action Plan 2016-2018 includes a specific action requiring each Local Authority to produce a tourism strategy and a commitment to hold a conference to bring together the varied stakeholders in local tourism to exchange best practice.
This event focussed on significant Irish success stories in tourism, shared key learnings, and highlighted the role of local authorities in facilitating this success
Speaking at the launch Minister O’Donovan said: “I am delighted to be invited by the County and City Management Association to address this important inaugural Local Government Tourism Conference today. Firstly, I would like to congratulate all 31 Local Authorities on the production of such impressive Statements of Strategy and Workplans. Local Authorities have long recognised the importance of tourism as a contributor to the local economy and have actively engaged with local communities, tourism and hospitality businesses and the State agencies to develop their local tourism experiences.
Adding, “That’s why this event is so significant; it is the coming together of all local authorities in the country, to share learnings and best practices and to listen to experts in the tourism field. This will ensure that, together, we will continue to grow and develop our tourism offering in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.”