KILLARNEY GATEWAY: Fáilte Ireland works with local industry to establish Killarney as a Gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way. Pictured at the meeting which took place at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney were: Cathaoirleach Killarney Municipal District, Cllr Michael Gleeson, Chief Executive Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell, Pat Dawson (Manager Killarney House and Gardens), Niamh O’Shea (Killarney Park Hotel), Miriam Kennedy (Failte Ireland), Bernadette Randles (Dromhall Hotel), Mike Buckley (Kerry Coaches), Danielle Favier (Fáilte Ireland), Ettienne Van Vrede (Great Southern Killarney), Timmy O’Donoghue (Killarney Brewing Company), Josephine O’Driscoll (Fáilte Ireland), Ollie Favier (The Shire Bar/4th July Festival), Paul O’Neill (O’Donoghue Ring Hotels) and Conor Hennegan (Tourism Consultant). Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan
Progress was made on Friday to develop Killarney as a Gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way.
Fáilte Ireland met with key stakeholders and businesses to discuss the next steps for the strategy that will establish Killarney as a gateway town for visitors exploring the Wild Atlantic Way.
Killarney was chosen as one of two pilot towns/cities to test the Wild Atlantic Way Gateway concept alongside Limerick City over a three-year period. The Killarney Wild Atlantic Way Gateway Strategy will be finalised later this year, with recommendations and actions for local industry from 2020 – 2022.
The meeting took place at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney and was attended by members of the Killarney tourism industry, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, the local authority, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Irish Hotel’s Federation and local industry representatives, who are all part of a Steering Group for the Killarney Wild Atlantic Way Gateway Strategy.
Killarney was identified by Fáilte Ireland as a Wild Atlantic Way Gateway as it offers visitors a broad range of accommodation, a wide variety of day time visitor attractions and activities, plenty of restaurants and evening entertainment and it is a main transport hub for the area.
“Kerry has already benefitted enormously from the Wild Atlantic Way but we need to continue to harness its potential and focus on trying to grow and build on that success year on year with new projects and initiatives,” Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD said. “With its proximity to the Wild Atlantic Way route and so much to offer visitors, Killarney is the perfect base.”
Bernadette Randles, a local hotelier and Chairperson of the Irish Hotels Federation Kerry branch, who is a member of the Killarney Wild Atlantic Way Gateway Strategy Steering Group, added that the Wild Atlantic Way has been a phenomenal success.
“This strategy is a great opportunity for tourism businesses to capitalise on the popularity of the route by enticing visitors to come to Killarney and Kerry, stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and experience everything the town has to offer.”