Local tourism operators look to 2012

Pictured outside The Fatted Calf in Glasson are (l-r) Johnny O’Sullivan, Sheraton Athlone Hotel; Éanna Rowe, Waterways Ireland; Tony Dawson, Fáilte Ireland; and Siobhán McManamy, Tourism Ireland.

Pictured outside The Fatted Calf in Glasson are (l-r) Johnny O’Sullivan, Sheraton Athlone Hotel; Éanna Rowe, Waterways Ireland; Tony Dawson, Fáilte Ireland; and Siobhán McManamy, Tourism Ireland.

Tourism operators from Athlone and around the Lakelands Region met with representatives of Tourism Ireland recently, to discuss opportunities to grow overseas tourism business for this part of Ireland from key markets around the world.

An extensive range of promotional opportunities will be on offer for 2012, to help local tourism operators promote their products and services. Advertising, participation in exhibitions, consumer and travel fairs, and direct marketing are just some of the opportunities, as well as social media and eMarketing platforms, which are becoming increasingly important in today’s digital age.

Siobhán McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s head of co-operative marketing, said: “Anecdotal reports from our tourism industry partners around the island of Ireland confirm a more positive picture overall than this time last year. However, we know that distribution of visitors is uneven, with some areas performing better than others. The current outlook for North America, mainland Europe and emerging markets is positive for the coming months. The economic situation in Britain remains fragile and we are keeping the market under close review.

“After a number of difficult years for tourism, the recently announced growth in overseas visitor numbers of plus12 per cent for the first half of the year is welcome news indeed for everyone in the tourism industry and is an encouraging basis on which Tourism Ireland, together with our industry partners, will build in 2012.”

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