A PLAN to boost tourism in Laois with the potential to create 300 new jobs was launched last Thursday night in Castle Durrow by the minister for justice and local TD Charlie Flanagan.
The Strategic plan for tourism in Laois 2018-2023 maintains that the county has the potential to attract 25,000 Irish visitors and 7,500 from overseas every year during its lifetime.
The ambitious project says that an additional 60,000 bed nights could be realised in the county every year.
To attain the targets, a number of key objectives were identified. These include a new marketing communications approach to be created for tourism in Laois to capitalise on the county as a national event centre and marketing it as the meeting and conference centre of Ireland.
Also envisaged is the creation of a Laois towns experience project designed to develop a central story/historic theme that designated areas employ to attract more tourists.
The meeting heard from Fáilte Ireland’s business development manager Paul Keeley that it was important to realise the potential of Laois and the challenges it faces.
He described Brexit as “a bit of a stone in the shoe that we have to be vigilant about. There will be massive growth in Europe and North America and we will have to diversify”.
The strategic plan’s author Mark Kenny said that one of the main challenges was to capitalise on the heritage of Laois and stories on the ground.