HomeIrish NewsFáilte Ireland Launches 5-Year Tourism Development Plan for Kilkenny

Fáilte Ireland Launches 5-Year Tourism Development Plan for Kilkenny

Fáilte Ireland has launched a new 5-year plan that will help drive and sustain tourism in Kilkenny. 

The Kilkenny Destination and Experience Development Plan (DEDP) aims to create a sustainable tourism destination by extending the tourism season and spreading business across all parts of the region over the next five years.  

Key stakeholders in the area were consulted and contributed to the plan including Kilkenny County Council, Kilkenny Leader Company, Local Enterprise Office, Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce, Kilkenny Tourism Group, the Office of Public Works, Coillte, Waterways Ireland and Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.  

The development of the 5-year plan provides a shared vision and clear direction towards improved tourism development, strengthening the promotion of the area’s unique features by growing the destination’s market share through the delivery of priority projects and hero experiences that seek to maximise the key strengths of the area.  

The plan builds on a number of existing destination development projects that will bring local experiences to life including a reimagined Medieval Mile which maximises the investment in the Museum of Medieval Kilkenny. It also aims to position Kilkenny as a key destination for river activities using the Three Sister Rivers to introduce visitors to a mix of urban and rural outdoor activity experiences across the destination. In addition, the DEDP will consider a world class creative animation visitor experience, building on Kilkenny’s long heritage as home to creatives and artisans.  

CEO of Fáilte Ireland, Paul Kelly said“This five-year Destination and Experience Development Plan captures the unique themes that are central to Kilkenny and features key priority projects which will transform the tourism offering across the region. The development of the River Barrow Tourism Masterplan, reimagination of the Medieval Mile, and building on Kilkenny’s cultural and creative heritage will strengthen Kilkenny’s position as an internationally compelling destination in Ireland’s Ancient East.  

“We are also pleased to announce an additional €1.5million in funding for the development of the new Museum of Medieval Kilkenny which will become a key visitor attraction in Kilkenny City and act as a central point for the Medieval Mile. This brings the total investment from Fáilte Ireland and Kilkenny County Council to almost €7million for this project.  

“Fáilte Ireland is committed to and focused on the sustainable development of tourism across Ireland which is an important economic driver and source of employment. We are confident that this DEDP has the potential to significantly increase Kilkenny’s domestic and international appeal, and grow the visitor economy to create sustainable, high-quality jobs in the sector that will serve to support and strengthen local communities.” 

Kilkenny DEDP Co-Chairs, Colin Ahern (GM Ormonde Hotel) and Martin O’Brien (Barrow Valley Community Hub) said: “We look forward with confidence to the implementation of the Kilkenny Destination and Experience Development Plan. We value tourism in Kilkenny, and its significant contribution to the economic, social and cultural life of the area. The plan sets out the actions, priorities and future investment for the area and is designed to not only enhance the visitor’s experience but also for the benefit of the local communities who live and work here. As Co-Chairs of a passionate and ambitious industry led stakeholder group, we are committed to the successful completion of this plan that aims to sustainably grow the year-round economic value of tourism activity in Kilkenny as a destination.’’

The Kilkenny DEDP will also support the implementation of the newly launched Kilkenny City pilot Night-Time Economy Action Plan 2024-2025, which will identify a number of key night time opportunities for development. This follows Kilkenny City’s successful designation as a pilot area for the night-time economy by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. 

Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Michael Doyle, said: “I am delighted to see the launch of Fáilte Ireland’s Kilkenny Destination and Experience Development Plan here today. It is a great example of how collaboration is the key to building a sustainable tourism industry which will drive the economic growth in Kilkenny and the surrounding areas. The Kilkenny DEDP will also support the implementation of the new Night-Time Economy Action Plan for Kilkenny City which sets out objectives and actions aimed at collectively strengthening and invigorating Kilkenny’s vibrant night time economy.” 

The Kilkenny Destination and Experience Development Plan (DEDP) has been developed through a collaborative approach and will be dependent on local tourism businesses, stakeholders and local communities working with Fáilte Ireland to implement this plan over next five years.

The full Kilkenny Destination and Experience Development Plan will be available to read online over the coming weeks at www.failteireland.ie

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.

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