Walking is a popular activity for visitors to Offaly.

Putting Offaly on the tourist map

Offaly Tourism has been working hard to put the county on the tourist map, despite last year being another difficult twelve months for the tourism and hospitality sector in the Midlands.

A small tourism team within Offaly County Council work in association with trade group Offaly Tourism Marketing (CLG). They have achieved many successes since their inception over three years ago, including a RTE Nationwide programme and an entire US cable TV programme dedicated to tourism in Offaly, promotional videos, social media followers increasing by over 50%, national radio and newspaper campaigns, and over €180k of funding has been secured for tourism marketing initiatives.

Offaly Tourism has also assisted 50 businesses and administered over €130,000 funding for outdoor dining. The tourism team has helped to promote large tourism developments e.g. Slieve Bloom mountain bike trails, Grand Canal Greenway and the unique Meelick Weir, near Lusmagh.

Offaly Tourism Marketing is a group working together to support and develop tourism in county Offaly. The members so far include accommodations, activity providers, attractions, pubs, cafes, tour guides, festivals and community groups.

The network believes that economic and social development is a joint effort between the private and public sectors working in partnership with the community. By joining, businesses benefit from co-ordinated and effective tourism marketing along with important networking opportunities. More details can be found at www.visitoffaly.ie or by emailing info@visitoffaly.ie.

The hospitality and tourism sector from all over Offaly will gather for a free online tourism webinar ‘Rebuilding Together for the Future’, on Wednesday next, February 9 from 10am–1 pm.

Organised by Offaly County Council, in association with Offaly Tourism Marketing (CLG), the free business-to-business event will provide tourism providers with the opportunity to familiarise themselves with what is happening within the tourism industry and be fully informed on the plans for Offaly.

The event will feature some special guest speakers from the industry, including Jarlath O’Dwyer of Burren Ecotourism and Pól Ó Conghaile Irish Independent Travel Editor. On a local level, Chief Executive of Offaly County Council, Anna Marie Delaney and the Tourism Officer Olive Farrelly, who will provide information on Offaly’s tourism network, an update on the marketing achievements to date and future plans.

Speaking ahead of the webinar, Olive Farrelly Farrelly said: “It has been an unprecedented difficult time for the tourism sector over the last two years. Now is the time where we have to regroup and rebuild for the future. We are inviting all tourism operators in the county to attend the event and would welcome anyone interested in tourism to login.”

“It’s an excellent opportunity for representatives of the local sector to learn more about our work of Offaly Tourism and they will see the benefits of getting involved and collaborating with other local stakeholders in the industry. Our guest speakers are both interesting and inspiring and it promises to be an entertaining morning.”