• Cyril McAree

Fáilte Ireland And Laois Tourism Explore Potential Of Festivals To Bring More International Visitors

Fáilte Ireland joined forces with Laois Tourism this week to bring together festival organisers from across the county to develop events which have the potential to attract more overseas visitors to the area.

Representatives from 11 Laois festivals, ranging from those which already stage established events as well as new and upcoming festivals, took part in a bespoke Ireland’s Ancient East workshop at the Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise. The workshop focused on plans over the next 18 months to create festivals which will stand out in the international marketplace and can drive increased visitors and revenue to Laois. Laois Partnership also supported the event and spoke to the festival organisers about avenues of funding and support from LEADER.

Head of Ireland’s Ancient East at Fáilte Ireland, Jenny De Saulles, said: “Laois already has some excellent and established festivals, including Durrow Scarecrow Festival and the Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run, which stand out as great visitor experiences and really have serious growth potential. These festivals stand out as they bring the heritage of the local area to life – key focuses of the Ireland’s Ancient East brand – and it is this kind of immersion in local culture that overseas visitors seek out when they come here.

“Our bespoke workshop alongside Laois Tourism has set out some clear ways in which event organisers and festivals across the county can target key international audiences effectively, as well as working together to cross-promote and drive increased visitor numbers and revenue.”

Rose Bergin from Laois Tourism added: “Laois Tourism was very happy to partner with Fáilte Ireland on the latest training course that was delivered this week. This course focused on festivals and how to maximise the tourism potential from them. Our festival organisers fully engaged in the workshop and all felt that there was something beneficial to their individual festival. This is one of many initiatives we are working with Fáilte Ireland on and we find their support and expertise invaluable.”

Ann Shields from Laois Partnership said: “We were delighted to support the Laois festivals workshop with Fáilte Ireland. The workshop explained how a festival or event could exploit the full potential of Fáilte Ireland’s and Tourism Ireland’s marketing resources by using their website portals and how to populate with relevant information. Brilliant practical advice and information for the Laois festivals.”

Attractions and festivals which took part in the workshop at Killeshin Hotel include:

Irish Classic Run

Old Fort Quarter Festival

The Folly Festival

Durrow Scarecrow Festival

Bulfin Heritage Cycle

Half-Door Club International Music and Set Dance Festival

Thread Softly Through Ireland


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