LAOIS could be branded as a ‘value for money destination’, according to the County Council’s draft tourism policy.
Other plans to increase tourism in the county include a festival co-ordinator to provide support and advice to groups developing festivals, increasing the focus on the county as a short term breaks destination, promoting Laois as a conference destination and maximising the potential of the Slieve Bloom Mountains.
At last month’s meeting of Laois County Council, where the new tourism policy was distributed to members, Cllr Mary Sweeney welcomed the appointment of Dom Reddin as Tourism Officer, replacing Honor Deevy.
However, she said the county needed to be more pro-active on marketing.
“It’s highly important for Laois to do everything in its power to enhance the county. We need to be more proactive in marketing the county.”
Cllr Alan Hand said large supporting events would attract people and would be an area where employment could be created.
He suggested that the rubgy club could bring over French teams or the council should bid to host the AGM of the FAI in the future.
Cllr Tom Mulhall said that attractions in local villages were not being highlighted.
“There has been a good amount of work done over the last few years.
“We have great assets, but there is still potential in our villages. A huge amount of people drive through, but we need to get these people to stop. The villages are not being highlighted,” he said.
County Manager, Peter Carey said he believed tourism was an area that the Government should focus on more. Mr Carey, who is Laois Tourism Chairman, said the council would be making an announcements on a garden trail for the county, this month.
Mr Carey said he had seen positive comments from visitors from the US on website, but admitted that the county was ‘undersold.’