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Offaly Tourism Strategy Launched – Anchored in Collaboration and Sustainability.

Offaly Tourism Marketing (CLG) has taken as significant stride towards establishing Offaly as a vibrant and sustainable tourism destination with the launch of its ambitious Tourism Strategy 2023-2027.  The official launch event, held at the County Arms Hotel, drew a distinguished audience from the tourism and hospitality sector along with representatives from Offaly County Council, Fáilte Ireland and Offaly Local Development Company.

L -R: Caitriona Duggan Offaly Local Development Company, Olive Farrelly, Tourism Officer Offaly County Council, Philip O’Brien Chair Offaly Tourism Marketing (CLG), Caren Carruthers Fáilte Ireland, Brendan O’Loughlin Offaly Local Development Company

The focus of the new strategy is on establishing a strong foundation for future growth. This will be done through maximising recent and ongoing investment, creating new opportunities, harnessing technology where appropriate, supporting industry growth, and implementing effective marketing initiatives.

At its core, the Strategy centres on four pillars, which include nine key priorities. This Strategic Framework provides a practical structure that will guide Offaly Tourism Marketing (CLG), Offaly County Council and stakeholders in achieving its priorities.  Actions related to delivery of these priorities are detailed in the Action Plan and underlying them is a commitment to people, planet and prosperity – the pillars of a resilient tourism economy.

Speaking at the launch Offaly County Council Tourism Officer, Olive Farrelly expressed enthusiasm for the “potential positive impact this strategy will have on the local economy, environment, and overall quality of life for residents.”  Ms Farrelly added “Huge progress has been achieved in recent years in terms of building our tourism offering. Developments such as the Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Trails, Grand Canal Greenway and Tullamore DEW Distillery Visitor Experience are strong attractions.  There is further potential in Offaly to build on progress to date, especially that Offaly’s strength lies in its natural environment, a key draw for discerning markets seeking authentic experiences.

Chief Executive Anna Marie Delaney confirmed “With the recently launched EU Just Transition Fund, public, private and Community SMEs alike are well positioned now  to avail of funding to establish new businesses and improve the quality of existing visitor experiences.  Alongside the Trail Network Development Scheme and soon to launch plans for specific sites e.g. Derryounce, Banagher Marina, Offaly is posed for strong growth in this sector, which in turn will  have a huge benefit for the local economy and communities.” 

Ms Farrelly further acknowledged the role Offaly Local Development Company played by assisting with funding for the Strategy and concluded ‘the future of tourism in Offaly is exciting and Offaly County Council looks forward to working with key partners in implementing the Strategy.’

Philip O’Brien, chairperson of Offaly Tourism Marketing (CLG) is also looking forward to assisting in the implementation of the plan. ‘Key to the strategy is infrastructure and attraction development, and industry support, which we will assist our strategic partners in implementing.  Offaly Tourism Marketing will have a pivotal role in the marketing and communications actions identified in the strategy.  Much progress has been made to date, but we intend to build on this, elevating Offaly as a vibrant sustainable tourist destination, a gem in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, and a must visit location. We encourage new members of the trade to join our network group, Offaly Tourism Marketing (CLG) as collaboration is key’.

The Offaly Tourism Strategy 2023-2027 is available to download from www.offaly.ie and www.visitoffaly.ie

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