• Cyril McAree

Fáilte Ireland’s CEO Outlines Key Opportunities For Tourism Growth In Kilkenny


Fáilte Ireland’s CEO Paul Kelly met with tourism businesses in Kilkenny to discuss the opportunities to grow tourism across the county in the year ahead.

Paul Kelly, along with the Head of Ireland’s Ancient East Jenny De Saulles, joined the Kilkenny businesses at the Pembroke Hotel where they discussed upcoming tourism developments as well as Fáilte Ireland’s business supports to help the industry as it prepares for Brexit.

Top of the agenda was capital investment in key attractions, opportunities for further investment in hotels as well work to develop the area’s night time economy. The group also spoke about the ways in which the Ireland’s Ancient East brand has helped tourism operators in Kilkenny to target key overseas markets and grow tourism and revenue across the county.

Following his meeting in Kilkenny today, Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said:

“With its rich culture and heritage as well as its many medieval sites and attractions, Kilkenny is an integral part of Ireland’s Ancient East. Kilkenny is lucky to have such a rich offering but what really makes it stand out in the international marketplace is the range of immersive visitor experiences available to the overseas tourist – which they actively seek out and is a core focus of our Ireland’s Ancient East brand.

“Kilkenny welcomes around 315,000 overseas visitors a year, worth €55million to the local economy and at Fáilte Ireland we recognise the potential for growth here, which is why we have made significant investment into key attractions and experiences. It was great to meet with tourism businesses and operators in Kilkenny today to discuss the opportunity for further tourism growth, particularly around growing the night-time economy as well as investment in more hotel space. Through our range of business supports, Fáilte Ireland will continue to work closely with the tourism industry and partners here, with a focus not only on building top-class visitor experiences, but also on preparing for Brexit and targeting new visitor markets which have potential for growth.”

Over the past 10 years, Fáilte Ireland has made capital investments of over €8million in County Kilkenny, including major projects like the Medieval Mile and Rothe House. Last year the National Tourism Development Authority also announced funding of over €1million for the relocation of the Butler Gallery to Evan’s Home.

Earlier this week Fáilte Ireland launched the first Ireland’s Ancient East tourism toolkit for craft businesses at Jerpoint Glass. This will equip craft businesses across Ireland’s Ancient East with the skills to maximise the potential of craft tourism to generate increased revenue and support local jobs.

The Ireland’s Ancient East team is also currently working with the industry in Kilkenny to build a strong night-time offering for the city. This is one part of the team’s wider work in the area to develop industry capability and grow tourism numbers to the county.


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