Trail app may be Tipping point in tourism battle

Tipperary is determined to muscle its way into Ireland’s competitive tourism marketplace by putting a modern twist on an ancient story.

The Butler Trail, predominantly based across the south of the county with a plan to grow into North Tipp later this year, has been armed with a multi-lingual audio app as Tipperary seeks to build on its tourism gains in recent years.

The app, downloadable at http://www.tipperary.com/butler-trail, takes listeners along the driving route and recounts the tales of opulence, battle, romance and more about the aristocratic Butler dynasty, which was the most powerful family in Tipperary for five turbulent centuries.

The family arrived in Ireland in the 12th century and brought with them privileges such as rights to a significant percentage of all wine imported into Ireland. They even had the right to serve the first glass of wine to the king on his coronation.

They went on to build numerous castles and houses north and south of the county, both for defensive purposes and as ostentatious displays of their wealth.

Those castles and other buildings, include the world-famous Swiss Cottage near Cahir, have now been linked in a trail that’s already enjoyed visitor number growth of 13% over the past five years.

Funded by Fáilte Ireland, the new app has been specifically designed with the growing European market for the Tipperary Tourism product in mind. Europe is now the second-fastest growing market for Tipp behind the US. The app will have bilingual audio in French and German as well as English.

Initially, the focus is on established ‘Butler’ tourism attractions such as Cahir Castle and Swiss Cottage, the Main Guard in Clonmel and the recently renovated Ormond Castle in Carrick-On-Suir.

However, its success will see it extended this year to take in the historic Butler of Ormond town of Roscrea at the northern end of the county and later to other Butler strongholds in Nenagh and Thurles.

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