• Cyril McAree

Fáilte Ireland’s Historic Towns to Bring Local History to Life Across Ireland’s Ancient East

Fáilte Ireland will bring to life the history and stories behind some of the oldest towns in Ireland’s Ancient East through a series of newly updated Historic Town trail signs around the region. As part of the initiative, new signs were officially unveiled today in Ardmore and Lismore in Waterford, and in Wexford’s New Ross and Enniscorthy.

These are the latest towns to have the signage installed following Leighlinbridge (Co. Carlow), Athy (Co. Kildare), Carrickmacross (Co. Monaghan), and Wexford town where the signs were unveiled earlier this year.

Working with local authorities and historians, Fáilte Ireland has uncovered interesting and lesser known stories from each area’s history, with content being displayed through wayfinding, interpretation, photography, maps and other signage across each town.

The Historic Towns initiative is designed to encourage visitors to stay longer and explore the wider region. A further six towns across the Ireland’s Ancient East region will have signage installed and updated over the coming months.

Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Ireland’s Ancient East, Jenny De Saulles, said:“There is a growing tourism trend around the world for exploring local areas and uncovering their unique stories. That’s why at Fáilte Ireland we’ve worked closely with local historians to bring to life the hidden history of each town. History and storytelling are at the core of the Ireland’s Ancient East brand and the signage unveiled in Historic Towns today will really help to shape compelling and engaging visitor experiences.

“The Ireland’s Ancient East brand has had serious impact this year, with visitor numbers and revenue continuing to grow at a strong rate. The Historic Towns initiative will help to further boost visitors numbers, encourage tourists to explore different parts of Ireland’s Ancient East and stay in the region for longer, helping to drive revenue for local businesses. We look forward to unveiling more signage in Historic Towns across Ireland’s Ancient East over the coming months."

Fáilte Ireland has identified a number of strategic objectives and priorities for Ireland’s Ancient East which are specific to using storytelling interpretation to create brilliant experiences and in turn to deliver economic benefits.

These objectives are to:

Deliver engaging world class visitor experiences that make Ireland’s living and historical culture accessible through the use of authentic stories as a differentiator; Create and deliver unique visitor experiences based on “living” the history; Provide the visitor with interpretation in the first language of the target audience, i.e. in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian; Increase the length of time visitors spend in Ireland’s Ancient East and the amount of money they spend there; Encourage overseas visitors to stay beyond the traditional tourism season and to visit longer.

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