Workshops on new roadmap for Lough Derg

Workshops on new roadmap for Lough Derg

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

Tourism related businesses and local community groups are being invited to two public workshops in Killaloe and Portumna in relation to the development of a new 3-year Roadmap for the development of Lough Derg.

The Lough Derg Marketing Group, which is developing the plan, says the public’s input is key to the shaping and promotion of a “truly exceptional visitor experience” in the Lough Derg region.

Public workshops will be held at The Killaloe Hotel on Wednesday 24 October at 7.00pm and at the Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna on Thursday 25 October at 7.00pm. Anyone interested in attending is asking to email tourism@tipperarycoco.ie in advance.

“The Lough Derg Marketing Group understands the potential of Lough Derg and the original Roadmap provided the vision to develop the destination brand and visitor experience, building on the natural assets of the Lough Derg Lakelands,” said Joe MacGrath, Chairman, Lough Derg Marketing Group.

He continued, “We remain committed to the sustainable development of the region to ensure a growth in tourism revenue and visitor numbers on an annual basis. The development of the new Fáilte Ireland brand for the region ‘Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands’ provides us with a new opportunity and it is an opportune time to refresh our vision and refine our focus to maximise the benefits for Lough Derg as a connected destination and great place to live and work.”

Joan Tarmey, Tourism Officer, Clare County Council, said, “We are urging businesses and communities alike in East Clare to come along to the workshops in Killaloe and Portumna.  This is a wonderful opportunity for you to shape the future of an exceptional visitor experience for the Lough Derg and its wider environs.  This consultation is not just for those located along the lake itself, but for businesses and communities within the wider environs.  Visitors are looking for unique, quality experiences and it is vital that your voice is heard so the Roadmap can be developed to make it an even stronger visitor experience.  The second Roadmap will set out the way forward and provide a blueprint for the next four years.”

The delivery of the Lough Derg Roadmap for Destination Development 2014-2017 has greatly benefited the local economy and communities in Tipperary, Clare and Galway. The Roadmap established a strong basis for investment in the Lough Derg region and enabled the roll out of a number of successful initiatives including the implementation of the Discover Lough Derg signage strategy, the development and promotion of the Lough Derg Blueway, the development of the Holy Island Management Plan and improvement works at numerous lakeside amenities improving access to the lake in areas such as Castlelough, Portumna and Ballycuggeran.

Concurrently the development of the Discover Lough Derg brand and associated website and social media accounts allowed for intensive marketing campaigns to be rolled out both nationally and internationally with the support of Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland over the last four years welcoming visitors to discover and holiday in the region.

The work of the Lough Derg Marketing Group was endorsed nationally when the group won the award for Best Local Authority Tourism Innovation at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards in 2017. It is estimated that the value of investment as a result of the delivery of the Roadmap through the Lough Derg Marketing Group is well over €4 million since 2014. The agencies involved include the local authorities in Tipperary, Clare and Galway, Waterways Ireland, Inland Fisheries Ireland and the local LEADER companies, supported by the tourism providers in the region.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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