Ambitious three-year plan to double tourism locally

The Longford tourism sector should grow by 50 percent between now and 2015, according to Bernadette Mullarkey of Bane Mullarkey consultancy.

The Longford tourism sector should grow by 50 percent between now and 2015, according to Bernadette Mullarkey of Bane Mullarkey consultancy.

The Galway-based consultant set the target while speaking at the launch of the County Longford Tourism Strategy and Action Plan. The event, which took place at the Backstage Theatre’s Canal Studio on Thursday last, saw a large gathering of local and national dignitaries. Among them was Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring.

The Mayo TD told those gathered that now was the time to leverage Longford’s connections at home and abroad, and pointed to St. Patrick’s Day festivities as the perfect time to do this.

“It’s an opportunity to promote Longford out into the diaspora. Make contact with them and invite them to come here,” he said.

He pointed to his own home town of Westport and the fact that despite its many tourism features, the single biggest tourist attraction is the Great Western Greenway, a walkway that travels the length from Westport to Achill (43.5km).

“We (in Ireland) never look at what we have. We look at what we don’t have,” he said as he encouraged local politicians and business people to “work together” to realise Longford’s tourism potential.

To read this story in full, see this week’s Longford Leader.