Campervan owners have saluted local authorities in Cork and Waterford for providing facilities — but Kerry gets the thumbs down.
According to Motorcaravanning Ireland (MI), Kerry County Council, which is trying to stamp out illegal parking in beaches and beauty spots, understands little about a tourism sector worth more than €3.3bn Europe-wide.
MI said: "The towns of Midleton and Cobh, to name just two, have designated areas in existing car parks for the specific use of motor-home-based tourists, who may wish to stay for up to three nights to enjoy the facilities and places of interest these towns have."
MI said: "As has been offered many times in the past, we are ready and willing to help Kerry promote itself as a desirable destination for those tourists who choose to use motor-homes as their means of travel and accommodation." In Kerry, local councillors have claimed such vehicles are responsible for littering on beaches as well as creating health risks.
However, MI pointed out that motor-homes are self-contained vehicles which can operate for periods of time independent of services. They are equipped with fresh, grey-and black-water tanks which can cater for the occupants’ needs for a number of days, while energy requirements are also met independently.
"It should be understood that such facilities render the need for motor-homes to overnight in caravan and camping parks redundant," said MI.
"All that is required is appropriate designated parking areas and service areas, as (are) commonly found in Europe. Such parking areas and the service areas, which provide fresh-water refilling and grey and black water emptying points, can be free of charge or subject to payment depending on local factors."
MI also said motor-home-users were reliant on their vehicles as their primary transport and need parking close to shops, restaurants and other places frequented by tourists.
"Killarney is particularly badly served by such parking and is surely losing out on potential revenue from this sector of tourism, but perhaps it has enough from other sectors."