Laois calls in Irish rugby Lion in drive to bring more tourists to midland county

By Conor Ganly


By Conor Ganly


W2 Consulting directors.

Keith Wood and Mark O'Connell, directors of W2 Consulting

Company run by former British and Irish Lion Keith Wood recruited to bring more tourists to Laois

Laois Tourism has turned to a company run by the former British and Irish Lion and Irish rugby star Keith Wood to come up with a strategy to bring more visitors to Laois.

W2 Consulting has commenced work on the strategy to revamp the tourist sector in the county, Laois County Council has confirmed.

Mr Wood is a Clare native who was an international forward with the Lions and Ireland. He is a director with the company which claims to "delivers strategic research, planning and project implementation services" across a broad range of services.

"We are engaged by public and private sector clients to deliver business analysis, consulting and research services with a specialises in the tourism and sport industries," says the company's website.

Established in December 2012 by Keith Wood and Mark O’Connell, W2 Consulting says it has undertaken a wide range of consultative assignments in Ireland and the UK.

It prepared an economic impact report of Trump Doonbeg International Links & Hotel Resort and also developed a five year strategic plan for Cycling Ireland.

The company also carried out a five year strategic plan for Boyne Valley Tourism in Meath and completed a Belfast City Tourism Strategy.

The commissioning of a strategy resulted from an overhaul of Laois Tourism last year. A new board was elected at an EGM to bring more tourism interests into the mix. The Board’s Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association were also amended.  

It was announced last year that a new Tourism Development Strategy will run to 2022 when completed.

Michael Murphy, General Manager of the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise, became the new Chairman of Laois Tourism last year.

Laois County Council's chief executive John Mulholland confirmed to county councillors that W2 Consulting had been recruited at the recent meeting of Laois County Council.