2013-02-22 19:27:05 - A strategic tourism plan aimed at establishing the County Limerick town of Adare as a gateway location for the wider County Limerick and Shannon Region has been launched by Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar.
Adare Heritage Trust Ltd., in association with Limerick County Council, last year commissioned URS Ireland Ltd. to seek the views of the local community and the wider public on how visitor services can be improved based on their experiences of Adare as a visitor destination.
The completed Adare Destination Plan, which is funded by West Limerick Resources, features a range of actions and recommendations on how the village can act as a tourism hub for the wider region through a series of touring trails; high quality information and imagery; and joint packaging with other key assets, attractions and activities.
“While this Government has prioritised tourism with effective measures like the 9% VAT rate, lower employers’ PRSI and the fuel rebate for coach
operators, it’s just as important to have local groups around the country which are keeping local tourism attractions relevant to visitors. I’m delighted that Adare has taken the time to review its tourism attractions and I congratulate Adare Heritage Trust and Limerick County Council for commissioning this new report. Adare has a lot to offer and is a strong base to build on.”
Speaking at today’s official launch ceremony in Adare Heritage Centre, Cllr. Jerome Scanlan, Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council said: “It is important for the wider Limerick and regional economy that Adare retains its position as a positive tourism role model for the region, and that its status as a premium cultural tourism destination is maintained. Therefore, it is vital that this Plan is implemented in order to meet future challenges and to safeguard the role tourism plays in the local economy.”
The Cathaoirleach continued: “In this day and age of increased competition from other tourism markets, there is a real danger that tourism and hospitality businesses in towns and villages across Ireland may not succeed unless a fresh approach is adopted. The Destination Plan gives Adare the opportunity to reinvent itself to meet the many challenges that inevitably lie ahead.”
According to Josephine Cotter Coughlan, Director of Services, Limerick Local Authorities: “The finished product reflects Adare’s dual visitor role as a strategic destination for County Limerick and the wider Shannon Region. Adare has significant accommodation stock, good transport connectivity and is an attractive setting in its own right; each of which is essential in presenting Adare as a base from which visitors can explore. The Adare Destination Plan therefore, is a Plan that seeks to generate significant benefits for not only Adare, but the wider region.”
Mary Fitzgerald of Adare Heritage Trust Ltd. commented: “This five-year blueprint, seeks to establish Adare as a tourism hub from which visitors will be encouraged to explore the wider County Limerick and Shannon Region through a series of touring trails, high quality information and imagery; and joint packaging with other key assets, attractions and activities.”
Adare has a population of around 1,000, and is considered to be one of the main tourism centres in County Limerick and the Shannon Region. Located on the River Maigue, the town’s main features of interest include the Adare Heritage Centre, Adare Manor, Desmond Castle Complex, Trinitarian Abbey, Augustinian Priory, Franciscan Friary and thatched cottages.
Key Objectives of the Adare Destination Plan:
- Utilise the Adare Heritage Centre as a means of imparting vital information and to ensure the visitor is exposed to Adare’s key assets, including attractions, retail, catering and activities.
- Establish a clear ‘brand’ for Adare to spearhead a new marketing campaign for the village
- Establish a dedicated website along with social media links for Adare. Its focused on visitors, using the site for booking accommodation, activities and tours.
- Extend the length of opening of the Adare Castle Tour.
- Establish a Historical Walking Tour combined with interpretation, including family-friendly and mobile/multi-media options, to encourage exploration of the Adare Village.
- Ensure that appropriate educational programmes are developed and promoted locally, regionally and nationally, especially in relation to heritage learning, archaeology and wild life.
The Heritage Town Destination Plan steering committee comprises representatives of Limerick County Council, Adare Heritage Trust Ltd., Adare Heritage Centre, Adare Community Council, Adare Pride of Place, Adare Hotel Group Network, Shannon Development, Fáilte Ireland, Irish Hotels Federation and the West Limerick Tourism Network.
The Adare Heritage Plan is available to view on www.adareheritagecentre.ie or www.lcc.ie.