While agriculture remains the dominant activity in rural areas, rural tourism has grown over the years as an alternative development strategy for rural areas.

Attracting visitors to rural destinations and remaining viable can be one challenge that many Rural Tourism enterprises face. Therefore, Kilkenny LEADER Partnership have organised a Rural Tourism Conference to focus on ‘Communities building Sustainable Destinations’ which takes place on October 3rd in the Avalon House Hotel and Discovery Park in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.

This conference incorporates a range of speakers from different communities and actors across Ireland speaking through their own experiences and tourism strategies as well as representatives from the Slovenian LEADER to speak about their experience of attracting visitors to rural communities.

There is a diverse range of workshops and mini seminars which cover a range of topics pertaining to the rural tourism industry and are inclusive to all different backgrounds and levels of experience. The full conference programme is detailed below or for further information and registration please email info@cklp.ie or call 056 7752111.

This conference is supported by Kilkenny LEADER Partnership, Kilkenny Local Enterprise Office and Trail Kilkenny.

Conference Programme

09.15: Opening-KLP- Setting the Scene- Declan Rice, CEO, Kilkenny LEADER Partnership
09.30am-10.45am: Case studies
Kate Lavender, Burren Beo Trust Kinvara, Co. Galway- Building resilient communities in an area highly impacted by tourism. Burrenbeo a story of sustainable development?
Slovenian LEADER Transnational Visitors: How do we get visitors from Ljubliana into our rural communities?
Kathy Purcell & Mags Morrissey, Castlecomer Discovery Park- Building a Bridge- Linking a visitor attraction into its town
Coleen Lowry, Blessington Estate, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland- Making the most of your assets
11am-12pm: Looking at wider strategies/ambitions of the higher-level strategic players for the region
Fáilte Ireland- Irelands Ancient East: the story
Kilkenny County Council & Kilkenny Tourism-How can we balance the distribution of visitors in a county where they are concentrated in one space?
Kilkenny LEADER Partnership- Activity based tourism- Making a visitor experience
12pm-1pm: Mapping Workshop Map 4 x Communities
Map in assets/opportunities and conservation and sustainability factors
2.30pm-4pm: Getting into the work-Workshops & Mini seminars
If ‘sharing is scaling’- whats the advantages and the best approach to working with communities as part of a network?
Trail Kilkenny: how do you create a tourism product where none existed before?
Can ‘augmented reality’ provide a partial solution to rural heritage tourism interpretation and marketing?
How do we utilise the countryside for tourism without damaging it?
Developing a realistic and relevant marketing strategy
Operator networking/development of tourism group. Advantages. Set up. Maintain insurance and compliance for activities providers
6pm: Identifying the emerging themes from the conference
7pm: Autumn BBQ, Music & Dancing

Kilkenny LEADER Partnership
Trail Kilkenny logo
Local Enterprise Office logo

Rural Tourism Conference

Rural Tourism Conference