‘Mystery shoppers’ to inspect Limerick attractions in bid to boost tourism industry

Fintan Walsh and Ryan O’Rourke

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh and Ryan O’Rourke

Mayor Butler says Limerick should be earning €700m, not €300m in tourism revenue

Mayor Butler says Limerick should be earning €700m, not €300m in tourism revenue

THE HEAD of the Wild Atlantic Way marketing brand confirmed that Failte Ireland will dispatch “mystery shoppers” to Limerick in a bid to boost the region’s tourism industry.

The unique initiative was announced at an economic special policy committee meeting at City Hall this Monday, when Failte Ireland officials briefed councillors on its tourism vision for Limerick.

The committee had been calling on Failte Ireland for the “much-awaited” presentation for around a year, chairperson Cllr Vivienne Crowley said. This was in response to widespread concern over Limerick’s tourism footprint in Ireland.

Wild Atlantic Way chief, Miriam Kennedy said that Limerick was just fourth on the list of tourism revenue earners in Ireland, taking in an annual €300m. Galway is at the top, taking in just less than €850m.

Metropolitan Mayor Daniel Butler said that Limerick “should be double that” and that the region is an “untapped resource”.

Ms Kennedy said that Limerick and Killarney will form part of its new Wild Atlantic Gateway initiative in 2019, which will last three years.

After Sinn Fein councillor Seighin O’Ceallaigh said that Limerick was still not on the Wild Atlantic Way route, Ms Kennedy said that the route is a “marketing tool” and that it is “not possible to include all of Limerick” on the route.

“They [the route] are hooks at the end of the day,” she said, adding: “You will have all the same benefits.”

Former Mayor Stephen Keary asked if Failte Ireland had an “audit system”, adding: “This place is not tidy enough.”

Cllr Keary was then informed that there are to be “mystery shoppers” who will inspect visitor attractions.