Tralee conference hears tourism numbers not as strong as Government claims

Tourism figures for Ireland from the past five years, are not as encouraging as the Government is portraying, a conference in Tralee was told today. hotel room beds 2 The comments were made by Raymond Keaney, a lecturer in tourism and management at the Institute of Technology in Tallaght. Mr Keaney was addressing the first ever ‘Learn from the Best’ tourism towns conference, held at Ballygarry House Hotel. Speaking at the conference, which was hosted by Tralee Chamber Alliance, Mr Keaney said the reality for the tourist industry, was that the past five years have been a lot more challenging than the Government admits. He said national statistics show no increase in holiday bed nights from 1999 to 2014, while the international visitor spend in Ireland, has only marginally increased in the 12 years up to 2012. He also said tourism towns need to focus on a long-term strategy, rather than concentrating on short-term gains. Mr Keaney was one of a number of speakers to address today’s conference, which also featured tourism experts from Ireland’s most successful tourism towns – Killarney, Westport and Kilkenny. The conference was the first in a series of events, themed ‘Learn from the Best’, which Tralee Chamber Alliance plans to host later in the year, at other venues.