Apr 27, 2012 - B'SPOKE KERRY SEMINAR - Developing Cycle Tourism in Kerry - The Challenges & Opportunities
The ITT runs a Certificate in Tourism Entrepreneurship under the Labour Market Activisation Programme to equip students with a skills set to consider setting up their own tourism businesses. One module on the programme, Event Management, requires students to organise a relevant live event which forms 50% of the module's marks.
This year the students developed the 'B'Spoke' Kerry Seminar as their event which was launched by Jimmy Deenihan, Minster for Arts, Heritage and the Gaelteacht at the ITT. There was significant interest among community tourism groups, tourism entrepreneurs and local authority representatives.
In 2009, an estimated 114,000 overseas visitors spent €97 million whilst engaged in cycling in Ireland. The South West of Ireland, and Kerry in particular are amongst the most popular destinations. Cycling tourists represent a growing and valuable market segment, particularly in rural areas where it becomes a driver of economic activity.
To date, County Kerry's cycling tourism product lags behind other counties and destinations in the UK and Northern Ireland. The future potential for Kerry's cycling tourism product is vast with construction on Europe's second highest downhill bike trail about to begin at Shroneaboy, Glenflesk and projects in Tralee/Fenit and the Killarney area in the pipeline.
Kerry's first ever Cycling Tourism Seminar 'B'SPOKE KERRY' took place on Saturday April 21st at the Institute of Technology Tralee in association with North & East Kerry Development . The event explored County Kerry's potential in becoming one of Ireland's leading destinations for cycling tourism. Speakers include:
- Rick Cook, Sustrans Northern Ireland
- Padraig Philbin, Great Western 'Greenway'
- Micheál Concannon, former President of Cycling Ireland
- Liam O'Mahony, Southern Trails
- Declan Murphy, Fáilte Ireland