Members of the public are being invited to contribute to the formation of a Destination Plan for Adare which, when completed, will identify initiatives that will not only raise the tourism profile of Adare, but also other key tourism locations throughout County Limerick.
Adare Heritage Trust Ltd., in association with Limerick County Council, has commissioned URS Ireland Ltd. to seek the views of the local community and the wider public on how visitor services can be improved based on their experiences of Adare as a visitor destination.
Financed through West Limerick Resources, the multi-agency assessment of Adare as a visitor destination will examine key tourism and heritage features, their accessibility and their interpretation. The Plan is scheduled for completion by June 2012.
“The purpose of this Plan is to consolidate Adare’s long standing status as a centre for tourist and commercial activity,” explained Maeve Kelly of Adare Heritage Trust Ltd. “It is important that the town’s tourism product and market position is periodically reviewed to ensure that its success is maintained and, more importantly, is sustainable in the face of changing visitor characteristics.”
Ms. Kelly continued: “In this day and age of increased competition from other tourism markets, there is a real danger that tourism and hospitality businesses in towns and villages across Ireland may not succeed unless a fresh approach is adopted. The Destination Plan gives Adare the opportunity to reinvent itself to meet the many challenges and that lie ahead.”
“We are asking members of the local community and people from across Limerick to participate in an online survey on the Adare Heritage Centre website www.adareheritagecentre.ie and on the Limerick County Council website www.lcc.ie. The closing date for submissions is May 11th next and we hope that the results of this survey, along with the outcome of a stakeholder workshop in May, will guide the consultants in their formulation of the Destination Plan”, added Ms. Kelly.
Adare has a population of around 1,000, and is considered to be one of the main tourism centres in the county, and indeed the Shannon Region. Located on the River Maigue, the town’s main features of interest include the Adare Heritage Centre, Adare Manor, Desmond Castle Complex, Trinitarian Abbey, Augustinian Priory, Franciscan Friary and thatched cottages.
Steering Committee Member and Limerick County Councillor, Cllr. Rose Brennan said the preparation of the Plan is vital if Adare is to maintain its status, and develop further as a major tourism centre in County Limerick and the Mid West Region.
Councillor Brennan continued: “Adare’s reputation as a visitor destination and heritage town has been built up over the years as a result of significant investment by the local hospitality sector, business community, Limerick County Council, Office of Public Works (OPW), Shannon Development, Adare Heritage Trust, and local Community groups. It is critically important that this Plan is prepared and implemented in order to meet future challenges and to safeguard the role tourism plays in the local economy. This is an ideal opportunity for everyone to make their views heard as part of this review process.”
Among the key areas of delivery for the plan is the development of new opportunities and heritage tourism products, examining funding requirements and sources to enable the actions that will be recommended in the Plan. This study will identify methods of securing increased overseas visitor numbers, visitor spend and dwell time.
Josephine Cotter Coughlan Director of Services, Community and Enterprise, Limerick County Council, commented: “Adare is considered to be of major tourism significance to County Limerick and for many years has been considered to be an exemplar of all the positive tourism assets that are located in County Limerick. It is important for the wider Limerick and Regional economy that Adare retains its position as a positive tourism role model for the region, and that its status as a premium cultural tourism destination is maintained.
Ms. Cotter Coughlan indicated that the plan could act as a pilot study with the potential for similar projects to be carried out in other key tourism locations in County Limerick.
The Heritage Town Destination Plan steering committee comprises representatives of Limerick County Council, Adare Heritage Trust Ltd., Adare Heritage Centre, Adare Community Council, Adare Pride of Place, Adare Hotel Group Network, Shannon Development, Fáilte Ireland, Irish Hotels Federation and the West Limerick Tourism Network.
Note to Editor:
- Interviewees are available on request. To arrange, please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR on -086-8534900 or [email protected]