A new strategy to develop tourism across Limerick city and county envisages that the total number of visitors to Limerick will reach 1.1 million per annum, generating more than €360 million in revenue and creating 1,500 new jobs by 2023. Limerick Tourism Development Strategy 2019 – 2023 has identified Limerick’s unique position on the west coast of Ireland and as a gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way as central to developing the sector.
It plans to revitalise the tourism sector in Limerick, capture key opportunities to grow the sector, and highlight priority action areas to unlock the significant benefits that a thriving tourism industry can bring.
The aims of the Limerick Tourism Development Strategy 2019 – 2023 are:
-Increase number of domestic and overseas visitors (and revenue) to Limerick
-Develop tourist experiences in the city and county
-Maximise Limerick’s position on the Wild Atlantic Way Region with Limerick City as a gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way
-Continue to work with Local Development Companies, trade partners and key stakeholders, and develop these relationships in order to enhance tourism experiences and offering in Limerick
The strategy identifies four broad areas that are central to developing the sector – Waterways, Activities, Heritage and Arts & Culture.
In turn, four themes of Into the Blue (Waterways), Energy Unleashed (Activities), Vibrant History (Heritage) and Alive & Kicking (Arts & Culture) have been developed to capitalise on Limerick’s unique offering.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr James Collins said: “The figures show that Tourism is an important industry for Limerick and this new strategy is a roadmap to develop the tourist offering across the city and county, creating jobs in various parts of rural and urban Limerick.”
“Other counties have demonstrated the power of tourism and here in Limerick we have a unique location as a gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way and some unique products that we can develop to capitalise on this demand.”
Minister for State at the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure Patrick O’Donovan TD said: “This strategy is important as it links in with other local authorities strategies around the country. It provides Limerick City and County Council with a map for the development of tourism. This will allow for the draw down of government investment through the various grants schemes.”
“It’s particularly important for rural County Limerick because we’ve seen over the last number of years that tourism across the country has played a massive role in regional Ireland. And you can see the development of tourism across County Limerick with the development of new hotels, refurbishment of established hotels, the development of existing and new visitor attractions, all collectively providing employment, and it’s great we need to work on this as these are jobs that can be sustained for many years to come.”
Gordon Daly, Director of Services with Limerick City and County Council said: “Tourism is one of the key areas that we see for growth over the next few years. The strategy aligns with the Limerick 2030 Economic and Spatial Plan for Limerick which has earmarked tourism as one of the key sectors for future growth and addresses the need for a joined up tourism strategy for Limerick and a more coordinated approach to the development of the sector.”
Limerick Tourism Development Strategy 2019 – 2023 has been developed following a wide-ranging consultation process involving key stakeholders and representatives from the sector across the city and county including West Limerick Resources and Ballyhoura Development Company.
In addition, the Limerick City and County Council has sought input from other relevant national stakeholders including Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland, which have overall responsibility for developing tourism in Ireland.
Consultation has also been carried out with members of the public and public workshops have been held in Adare, Templeglantine, Kilmallock and Limerick City, bringing together voices from across Limerick in a range of sectors of relevance to tourism, and highlighted the wealth of knowledge and experience held by local people throughout the county.