Limerick’s rise up the tourism ranks is continuing apace, with tourism chiefs saying 2015 is set to build on the significant growth achieved last year.
Speaking at the launch of a new brochure, ‘Experience Limerick Tours’, Limerick Marketing Company CEO Eoghan Prendergast said that confidence in the hospitality industry was very much on the rise.
His comments were backed up by the local branch of the Irish Hotels Federation, which reported this week that the summer season is looking like the best for the city and county since the height of the boom.
“We are still in the early stages of a journey that is all about driving greater awareness of Limerick from both a tourism and investment perspective but we are very much on a growth curve in both areas. We are seeing extremely strong investment growth, with over 2,000 jobs created in the last 12 months alone for Limerick,” he said.
“From a tourism perspective, after last year’s strong performance, hoteliers are reporting their best summer in years, with bookings and yields both up. Clearly ‘brand Limerick’ is growing and the momentum built with the City of Culture is being continued this year. The launch of this brochure is all about keeping that impetus going.
“Now that we are becoming more and more established as a city and county destination in our own right, we want to grow the average time people spend here. It’s not about one or two nights stays any more, we want more than that.”
The brochure, which is also being promoted by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland, aims to promote the city and county for three-four night stays as distinct from the traditional one to two night Limerick offering.
It sets out a suggested itinerary for four day tours in Limerick, with three of the four tours listed county based.
The tours include Limerick city, incorporating landmarks like King John’s castle and St Mary’s Cathedral, East County Limerick, which includes stops at Glenstal Abbey and the Clare Glens, a drive along West Limerick weaving through Croom and Adare, and finally the N69 drive which includes Curraghchase Forest Park and Foynes Flying Boat Museum.
Welcoming the brochure, IHF Shannon Branch Chairperson Elaina Fitzgerald said; “Limerick has an outstanding proposition for tourists but we may have lacked the confidence to shout about it, that’s not the case anymore.
“We know that we have a really good brand, heads are turning to it nationally and that’s very much evident in the number of tourists coming to stay here,”
“We are having a really great year, hotel occupancy levels are up this summer, to as much as 90% plus.
If you got to Shannon Airport now you see aircraft after aircraft packed with tourists. The Wild Atlantic Way is definitely driving business our way, it has been a real game changer for us and we’re really beginning to see the bounce from it,” she concluded.