Westmeath tourism officer, Una Doris.

Westmeath County Council to seek public input on new tourism plan

The public in Westmeath is to be asked to give its views on a new tourism plan being drawn up for the county.

The draft new Westmeath County Tourism Strategy 2023 – 2027 is to be released for public consultation in February, Westmeath Tourism Officer Una Doris told members of Westmeath County Council’s Economic, Enterprise & Tourism SPC when they met last week.

Ms Doris said that, when adopted, the plan will be aligned with the new Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands Regional Tourism Development Strategy 2023 – 2027.

“It is very much focusing on and capitalizing on the Ireland’s Hidden Heartland regional brand and collaborating with the various agencies and other work that's happening,” Ms Doris told the meeting.

She explained that the plan would look at existing support tools and at boosting visitor experiences that the area already has and at building on these.

It also focuses on the ‘destination towns’ with a view to enhancing these and making them stronger.

“There's a particular emphasis on sustainable tourism development principles,” she continued, going on to state that this aligns with the regional development strategy focus on ‘regenerative tourism’.

“That's about not just protecting the environment but really making sure that local people can feel the benefits in their area and making sure that tourism works for us and helps us to support our environment and the people in our county,” Ms Doris said.

Welcoming the impending publication of the draft tourism plan, Chamber of Commerce representative John Geoghegan said the Chamber would be extremely keen to see this, having made a six thousand word submission on it two years ago.