Hotelier Colm Neville has been announced as the new Chairperson for the Visit Wexford tourism group. Colm who is no stranger to the tourism industry, the owner and operator of the Riverside Park Hotel in Enniscorthy and the newly opened Crown Bar in Wexford town has ambitious plans for the tourism group and industry in 2016.
Commenting on the taking up for the new voluntary role Colm said, “I’m very proud to take the position of chair of Visit Wexford and indeed very proud of all the good work done to date by the combined effort of the Hospitality Trade, The Attractions of Welford and the County Council through Visit Wexford.”
2015 was a very successful year for tourism in Ireland and in Wexford. Nationally there was a 12%growth in overseas visitors numbers and it continues to rise; through Visit Wexford a media spotlight to the tune of €2.5million was placed on Wexford and it’s tourism industry.
It is the new Chairman’s goal to help grow these figures even further, “My main goal is to build greater engagement of the various stakeholders involved in, and affected by, Tourism in County Wexford. It’s my genuine belief that individually we can achieve very little but together we can accomplish so much. It’s this co-operation and collaboration between the various stakeholders that will achieve the obvious principal goal of Visit Wexford of exposing all that is so great about our county to those outside it. This will attract more visitors and greater expenditure to improve the fortunes of our county’s people and generating more employment for all.
I am acutely aware of and on behalf of everyone involved with Visit Wexford, grateful for the support from Wexford County Council. Our County Manager, Mr Tom Enright, has in his time of tenure shown himself to be a visionary for the future of our county and has committed substantial resources towards the future of tourism in our county. While this has proved to be a great success with Wexford County’s relative position in the popularity rankings and we have visitor numbers to Wexford increase more signficantly than many of our neighbours within the last couple of years, we still need more resources if we are to drive on to the next level and continue to achieve growth.”
An extensive Marketing campaign is set to be rolled out by Visit Wexford for 2016 with activities devised to promote the county nationally and internationally; Wexford County Council and the tourism industry in Wexford have jointly funded this campaign. It includes a number of national radio competitions along with a multi-site billboard campaign at high traffic areas in Dublin and Cork Cites, a new Visit Wexford welcome billboard at Rosslare Port, features on the TV national events guide, TV advertising, attending key trade and consumer shows promoting Wexford and producing two new brochures for Wexford which will be distributed at over 500 locations across Dublin, the Southeast and at Dublin Airport, Waterford Airport and the Ferry Ports.
A focus on Ireland’s Ancient East will also take place throughout 2016 and beyond, according to the new Chairman, “Irelands Ancient East is a hugely significant piece of marketing work currently being undertaken by Failte Ireland following the hugely successful Wild Atlantic Way initiative on the west coast. There is great excitement and anticipation throughout all the counties of the East coast about this long awaited initiative and never before do we need as a county to be well organised and unified in our efforts to influence and direct the substantial national effort in this regard towards the stories and history that abound in our county.”
Over 50 festivals took place in Wexford during 2015 and it is expected that 2016 will also be a significantly busy year for the sector. The VisitWexford.ie website had over the course of 2015 traffic of over 150,000 unique visitors with those visitors browsing the site for over 3 minutes on each occasion. 60% of the website users are from Ireland with the remainder coming from overseas.
“I hope to be able to secure the engagement of even more to achieve this and ensure that the tourism sector in our county can be seen to stand up and be counted in promoting its own industry for all our benefit throughout our county.” Colm concluded.
The call to action for all marketing of Wexford is to VisitWexford.ie the tourism group is encouraging everyone involved in the industry to ensure their business is listed on the website; a free listing can be created online, see www.visitwexford.ie or get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org