Fáilte Ireland: Investment in regional St Patrick's celebrations will drive tourism to lesser-known areas

Fáilte Ireland: Investment in regional St Patrick's celebrations will drive tourism to lesser-known areas

Targeted investment in promoting regional St Patrick's celebrations will drive tourism outside the country's major urban centres, according to Fáilte Ireland.

The tourism development agency was responding to concerns that this week's announcement of almost €3 million in support for festivals and events was regionally imbalanced.

The Minister for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, announced €2,964,500 in Fáilte Ireland to enhance and promote 40 festivals nationwide.

It included €1,241,500 for nine festivals in Dublin and a further €364,500 for three events in Galway.

In contrast, just €194,000 was allocated for Cork, including €30,000 for the city's Jazz Festival and €9,500 for the Taste of West Cork Festival, while Waterford was allocated just €13,500.

Sligo (€15,000), Meath (€10,000) and Limerick (€7,000) were also among the lowest recipients.

Dublin's St Patrick's Festival alone received €950,000 of the allocation, almost five times the total amount to be shared among events in Cork.

In all, 40 festivals will receive support under the scheme.

A spokesperson for Fáilte Ireland said the announcement is one aspect of a broader tourism strategy that includes the development of new festivals in various parts of the country.

"As part of our festivals strategy, we are also working on a number of new initiatives such as a Halloween festival, and expanding others such as the New Year's Festival. Announcements will be made on these initiatives in the coming months.

In 2018, we developed two new festivals; May the Fourth Be With You and the Global Irish Festival Series.

"Following the success of these festivals, we are developing them further with local communities for 2019," the spokesperson said.

Plans were also announced to promote and support St Patrick's Day celebrations in various parts of the country to drive regional tourism, including Sligo, Waterford, Killarney, Skerries, Swords, Cork and Limerick.

"These initiatives are all part of Fáilte Ireland's efforts to encourage international visitors to explore lesser known locations across the country," the spokesperson said.

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