North Kilkenny tourism on the move

Twelve tourism champions from North Kilkenny and South Laois have completed a three-month training course run by Laois Partnership.

Twelve tourism champions from North Kilkenny and South Laois have completed a three-month training course run by Laois Partnership.

The course aimed to enhance the potential of the South Laois area to act as a tourist hub. The course developed the participants’ skills to create linked packages and co-operative approaches toward tourism.

South Laois Tourism chairman Michael G Phelan outlined the course content: “Topics covered included customer relations, building up business, using the internet to advertise and packaging accommodation with activities,” he explained.

“Additionally, we went on two field trips, firstly to Rathwood in Carlow and secondly to Kilkenny City. A third visit to Ballyhoura ‘Walking Country’ is planned for June,” he said. These three locations were identified by the group as examples of best practice in relation to co-operative marketing.

Laois Partnership CEO Anne Goodwin congratulated the participants. “We have worked closely with South Laois Tourism since their inception two years ago and have assisted them through capital investment in their website and cycle trails projects. This training course will enhance the ability of the tourism champions in South Laois to attract tourists into the county,” she said.

The area covered by this South Laois Tourism Group includes Attanagh, Ballyragget, Clough, Ballacolla, Ballinakill, Cullahill, Durrow, Gathabawn and Lisdowney. The group consists of a mix of business operators and event/festivals organisers who work together to make positive economic change for the area.

They began by setting up a website and Facebook page, and then developed a series of cycling trails and have most recently opened a tourist information point in the Castle Arms Hotel.