Kilkenny’s history, heritage, and landscape have provided an invaluable tourism asset for both the City and County, which has the potential to sustain a significant element of our local economy. Kilkenny is marketed as a heritage destination and has a large number of visitor attractions associated with heritage, both built and natural. There is also potential to build on the contribution of the County’s natural and built heritage to the economic development of Kilkenny, further improving the tourism product. Tourism is currently a major revenue generator for County Kilkenny, estimated by Fáilte Ireland to be worth approximately €94m to the County in 2016.
Kilkenny County Council has rolled out a Tourism Statement of Strategy and Work Programme for the period 2017 to 2022 to drive, support and help sustain the tourism industry in Kilkenny. The extent to which the Council can improve tourism’s performance will however be dependent on a combination of internal and external factors, which includes government policy and the impacts of Great Britain leaving the European Union (Brexit).
Fáilte Ireland’s brand propositions Ireland’s Ancient East (IAE) as a significant marketing opportunity for Kilkenny. Kilkenny is and will continue to be a significant attraction within IAE, and intends embracing all opportunities presented by a major marketing and branding campaign, which is entirely consistent with Kilkenny’s history and heritage.
Kilkenny has many untapped tourism resources, including its people, its heritage and its natural environment. Several projects are underway to expand the tourism product such as the Kilkenny Greenway in the South and the Medieval mile and the Linear Walk in Kilkenny City. A major opportunity is the exploitation of the untapped tourism potential associated with the three major rivers flowing through the County, being the rivers Barrow, Nore and the Suir.