Laois has a 'big part to play' in Ancient East Tourist strategy says Fáilte Ireland

By Conor Ganly

Reporter:

By Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

Fáilte Ireland’s first phase of its orientation signage for Ireland’s Ancient East is continuing with five key visitor orientation signs now installed in Laois. 

These signs are part of a multi signage programme envisaged for Ireland’s Ancient East with similar branded orientation signage expected to be in place at 80 key sites throughout the region in the coming months. 

The new signs, designed to encourage visitors to stay longer and explore the wider region, have been strategically sited at:

Emo Court;
Rock of Dunamase;
Timahoe Round Tower;
Heywood Gardens
Abbeyleix Heritage House.

Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Ireland’s Ancient East, Jenny De Saulles the initiative is a way to encourage visitors to Laois and other parts which would previously have been bypassed.

“For too long, most overseas tourists have seen the south east, midlands and north east as a region to travel to for a day or simply just to travel through," he said.

Ms De Saulles added that the signs can help visitors get detour from the tourist bypass into Laois. 

“We want to transform Ireland’s Ancient East from a transit zone to a touring zone by increasing visitor dwell time in the region. Laois has a big part to play in our plans and these signs work to that objective and will, we hope, encourage visitors to explore the rich variety of all Laois can offer,” he said.

He said Ireland’s Ancient East seeks to create enough ‘stickiness’ and points of curiosity so that visitors will slow down, explore the region and stay overnight.

"These signs are geared to encourage that behaviour. Strategically located at popular stopping points, they inform visitors of all the other interesting things to see and do within an hour’s drive in every direction outwards.”

Shaped as a large spiral wheel, each branded sign highlights a range of sites within up to 60 minutes’ drive away from the sign location to encourage visitors to extend their stay and visit more than just the primary sites. 

Fáilte Ireland said the signs have been designed and positioned strategically to make it easy for the visitor to find out about all the great things to see and do.

The also aim to cross-sell nearby tourist attractions and points of interest that are part of the Ireland’s Ancient East story, thereby encouraging visitors to explore the area and make connections with other places within the region.

Another aim is to present the story of Irelands Ancient East in a joined-up fashion and strengthen the core values of the brand. 

Fáilte Ireland said Ireland’s Ancient East seeks to offer visitors a compelling reason to visit Laois and is rooted in the rich history and diverse range of cultural heritage experiences that are particularly prevalent in this part of Ireland.

Ultimately the key strategic objective of the Ireland’s Ancient East initiative is to increase the number of overnight stays by overseas visitors in the county as well as increase the tourism revenue generated and the associated tourism employment.