€11,500 cash boost for local festivals

Say cheese: Cathal Murphy and Caroline Mulready on Torc mountain during the recent Killarney Mountain Festival.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

GRANT aid totalling €11,500 have been approved to help run a total of seven festivals and events in the Killarney Municipal District in 2019.

The Killarney Mountain Festival is the biggest beneficiary and it is to receive €3,730 and the others to benefit are Christmas in Killarney (€2,250); Kerry Film Festival (€2,000); Killarney Fourth of July Festival (€1,000); Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival in Castleisland (€1,000); Hardman Events (€750) and Run Killarney (€750).

The allocations, approved by Fáilte Ireland and confirmed by Kerry County Council’s tourism unit, have been welcomed by Cllr Niall Kelleher.

Meanwhile, Fáilte Ireland has confirmed that it is to invest €15.5 million through local authorities to boost the attractiveness and tourism appeal of up to 62 towns across the country.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, said the scheme is part of the National Tourism Development Authority’s work to drive a better regional spread of overseas and domestic visitors and spend.

Through the scheme, every local authority in the country, including Kerry County Council, will be able to bid for funding of between €250,000 and €500,000 to develop up to two towns in their area which have the potential to become a destination town for tourists.

With Fáilte Ireland research consistently showing that attractive towns and cities are key motivators for overseas holidaymakers coming to Ireland, the new scheme will provide funding to councils to enhance public spaces such as squares, streetscapes and markets in a way that will engage tourists and enhance their experience in key towns.

This could include spaces for food and craft markets, areas for town centre events, public art displays as well as orientation and signage to help visitors explore a town’s local heritage.

The destination towns will need to demonstrate their capacity and appeal to attract more international visitors to stay overnight which is a key driver of spend. To be successful in their funding submissions, councils will be expected to identify towns that have at least one visitor attraction of scale that can drive tourism demand, a range of things to see and do for two days, an accommodation stock of at least 300 beds and a range of food offerings to meet the visitor needs.

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