Laois tourism representatives at Failte Ireland workshop for Ireland's Ancient East

Laois tourism representatives at Failte Ireland workshop for Ireland's Ancient East

Fáilte Ireland joined forces with historic houses, gardens and attractions across Laois last week to develop tourism plans in Ireland’s Ancient East.

Nine tourism organisations and businesses from Laois joined a Fáilte Ireland workshop in the Talbot Hotel in Carlow, which focused on developing visitor experiences around the ‘Tale of Two Worlds’ theme, which brings to life the layers of history in big houses, gardens and attractions in Ireland’s Ancient East.

The workshop brought together 60 key partners from Laois, Carlow, Kildare, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow to help position Ireland’s Ancient East as the most enjoyable, engaging and accessible cultural experience in Europe.

Over the past year, Fáilte Ireland has worked with key partners across Ireland’s Ancient East to develop the Tale of Two Worlds theme, including the completion of a study on the potential to attract more overseas visitors to the region’s gardens, the development of visitor experiences in historic houses, the creation of 10 new high value food and drink experiences, as well as a range of training and supports for attractions and businesses in the area.

The Fáilte Ireland team also unveiled some of the plans it has to develop visitor experiences over the coming year, including new garden festivals and boosting the storytelling and tours at some of the region’s historic houses.

Derek Dolan, Fáilte Ireland’s Business Development Officer in Ireland’s Ancient East, said,

“It was encouraging to see such an energetic session with our Tale of Two Worlds industry partners and stakeholders.

“The work that has been completed across gardens and historic houses in Ireland’s Ancient East is a testament to our shared commitments and we are already seeing an impact through increased visitor numbers and revenues in our visitor attractions.

“We will continue to work side by side with the industry to improve visitor experiences across the region with the aim of reaching our target of 3.5% revenue growth each year.”

Fáilte Ireland is working with industry, wider stakeholders and local authorities to create a visitor experience plan that fully develops the potential of the visitor experience within Ireland’s Ancient East.

Attendees from Laois:

Andrew Cole, Laois Heritage Society

Angela Devitt, The Midlands Park Hotel

Dominic Reddin, Laois County Council

Ian Finnan, The Killeshin Hotel

Jackie Carroll, The Big Idea/Laois Tourism

Michelle Brophy, The Heritage Killenard

Paula Hennessy, Abbeyleix Heritage House

Rose Bergin, The Big Idea/Laois Tourism

Sean Ward, Fisherman's Thatched Inn

Trevor Stanley, Donaghmore Famine Workhouse Museum.

Ireland’s Ancient East has been developed by Fáilte Ireland as a branded visitor experience encompassing the rich heritage and cultural assets that Ireland has to offer in the midlands/eastern half of the country.