On Tuesday the 5th of April, businesses from the travel and tourism industry in Cavan met in Hotel Kilmore for an afternoon of networking and collaboration. The event was held by Cavan County Council in partnership with the Tourism Steering Group made up of members of the tourism trade.
This was the first in-person meeting with trade since 2019 and a welcome catch up for all participants after two years of restrictions on the industry. Tommy Ryan, Chief Executive of Cavan County Council was the first speaker on the day. “Five years ago, we developed a strategy based around the growth of tourism in our County. The three pillars we focused on were destination development, trade development and marketing our destination. Everyone has a role to play in actioning this strategy and the best way to do it is by collaboration”. Tommy finished with the statistic that every 1000 visitors to the county supports 14 jobs in the industry.
Participants then heard from Sarah McCarthy- regional development officer with Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. Sarah’s presentation was titled- “Working together in 2022” and she outlined the strategic objectives that she has for the county. To raise awareness, develop the region, increase length of stay, establish the region as a leading regenerative tourism destination and to build communities. Sarah spoke of the supports available on the Fáilte Ireland website that all businesses can avail of. “We will also be featuring local activity providers from Cavan Adventure Centre and Carafin Activity park shortly as part of a new ad for Hidden Heartlands. Both attractions will create a great draw to the county and other businesses should collaborate with them to capitalise on the promotion”.
Brendan then introduced Patricia Smith, food strategy co-ordinator for Cavan’s food tourism brand- Created in Cavan. The brand was launched in 2019 and since then it has grown from strength to strength. Patricia outlined the objectives of the network along with the benefits of joining. Events planned for the coming year include young chef of the year, a summer food festival, forage and feast, cookery demonstrations and more. “I would invite any Cavan food producer, hospitality business or food retail business to join our growing network and get involved in what is set to be a very exciting year for Cavan food.”
Joanne Hayes, Tourism Officer for Cavan then took the floor to update attendees on all the work that has been going on with destination development over the past number of years. Projects include the Killykeen Greenway, the development of the urban greenway in Cavan town and the multi-million euro investment in the Shannon Pot Discovery Centre and Cavan Burren Park. Joanne also set out objectives for the future of Cavan tourism including growing the network and its capacity, cross promotion in the county, ongoing investment, and a new tourism strategy in 2023.
Tony Walker, general manager of the Slieve Russell Hotel and chairperson of the tourism steering committee in the county spoke about the progress that was made over the last three years.
The final speaker of the day was Tina O’Dwyer, founder and managing director of The Tourism Space. Tina was also present at the last tourism meeting in 2019 and she provided a recap on the actions that came from that gathering. Groups of participants were asked a question based on the theme of working better together. The workshop enabled businesses in the room to think about how they can develop their own business by working closely with other businesses in the county.
This may have been the first meeting in three years, but it certainly won’t be the last in 2022. Attendees left motivated for the summer season ahead with an invigorated sense of community. Cavan as county has a lot to offer, and the first step has been taken by businesses to shout about it from the rooftops.
To list your tourism or hospitality business on the This is Cavan website please contact firstname.lastname@example.org . To become a member of the Created in Cavan Network please contact Patricia on email@example.com