77% say Killarney offers value for money

Pictured at a Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce information evening at which the new report was discussed were, from left, Sean Brosnan, Paul O’Neill, President, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, Siobhan Kissane, Niall Kelleher, Mayor of Killarney and Mark O’Connell

KILLARNEY’S contribution to the tourism industry nationally reveals an overall economic impact of €410 million generated locally by holidaymakers.

A Killarney Tourism Economic Impact Review report, commissioned by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, has revealed that the tourism industry supports 3,122 jobs locally and it brings 1.1 million visitors to the town every year.

The report, launched today by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin, predicts growth of 30 per cent for tourism in Killarney between now and 2025 but to achieve the issues of regionality and seasonality must be addressed

The review involved an examination of the economic contribution of tourism, attitudes of visitors to the town and areas for consideration to promote further tourism growth.

It found that Killarney is delivering for tourists, with 41 per cent of visitors stating it had exceeded expectations and 57 per cent reporting that it had met expectations. The town also scored strongly in terms of value for money, with 77 per cent rating.

The average room rate for Killarney was €113 compared to €139 nationally. Its monthly average room rate peaked in August at €126, compared to €117 nationally – one of only two months of the year when the town had a rate higher than the national average. However, Killarney’s rate was still lower than Dublin’s rate (€139) during August.

North American visitors who travel to see sights like Ladies View have an average daily spend of €191.50.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

It also reveals that North American market remains the most lucrative for the Irish tourism industry, with the US and Canadian guest spending 80 per cent more per day than domestic tourists. North American visitors have an average daily spend of €191.50 which is 30 per cent more than UK tourists and more than double that of mainland European visitors.

However, the key challenges of regionality and seasonality stand out for the town with an average occupancy of just 20 per cent in December which was its weakest performing month.

Another issue is the low level of business tourism, with only seven per cent of visitors coming to Killarney for business, in keeping with Kerry’s ranking as the lowest of all Wild Atlantic Way counties for IDA jobs per capita and less than half the national average.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President, Paul O’Neill said the report has been enlightening.

“It has quantified just how important tourism is for us and the figures are hugely impressive. We most definitely have the capacity, we have a unique product in terms of what we offer in the town itself and immediate hinterland but also what we offer as a gateway to both the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula,” he said.

Among the key recommendations outlined in the report are:

  • A national and international Killarney digital marketing campaign
  • Supporting direct international access to the west coast
  • Investment in road network to Kerry, particularly the Macroom and Adare by-passes, and broadband in Kerry
  • Preparing for the Brexit challenge by building on Killarney’s strong appeal within the North American and Mainland European markets
  • Enhancing the product mix in the town, including indoor attractions, to build its capacity to attract and retain visitors
  • Investing in key products or segments that will address the seasonality challenges faced by Killarney and the wider Kerry area, including completion of Gap of Dunloe Greenway, Fossa Way and Lough Lein Loop Walk.© KillarneyToday.com: Your professional local news service. For great value advertising call 087-2229761 or email [email protected]