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Chamber to tackle low off-season occupancy

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Killarney Chamber of Commerce and Tourism has said that low off-season hotel occupancy is a challenge for its members but one that can be transformed into an opportunity if the right solutions are put in place.

Addressing members last night at the final phase of a consultation process for the Killarney Tourism Economic Impact Review (TEIR 1) report, which is being compiled by W2 Consulting, Chamber President Paul O’Neill said that one of the most surprising aspects of the initial findings was that Killarney trails the national and even regional average in terms of off-season occupancy.

Over 100 members attended the event in the Killarney Avenue Hotel, which finished with members giving their recommendations for growing the economy through tourism and industry generally in Kerry.

“We will be publishing full details of the report in the very near future but suffice to say that our event was a very positive engagement,” O’Neill said. “The key findings were relayed to members and this led to a very positive discussion around how we can take Kerry forward. We’ve not had a report like this done on Killarney before and that was very much evidenced by the energy in the room. With regard to the report itself, while we knew we had off-season challenges, we didn’t quite realise that occupancy rates compared in the way they do with national and regional averages.

“Now that we know where we are, there’s nothing for us to do but treat this an opportunity. Clearly the status quo isn’t working and we’ve already set about addressing it with innovative ways of bringing people in. These include festivals such as the Christmas Festival just gone and the recently announced Killarney Mountain Festival, which takes place on 9th, 10th and 11th of March.

“But there’s also an opportunity here for us to challenge central government and various agencies involved in tourism and industrial promotion to look again at Killarney and match our determination to ensure that the economy of this town and county grows in the shoulder periods of the year.”

Conor Hennigan, Development Manager with the Killarney Chamber, said that there are many assuring aspects from the findings, not least that the report had confirmed tourists’ satisfaction rating with the Killarney experience.

“Ultimately, the research conducted for this report, including interviews with tourists, delivered huge approval ratings in terms of visitor satisfaction levels,” he said. “So we clearly have the product, the service and the capacity. The issues we have are effectively seasonality and regionality and our meeting tonight was about getting the opinion of our members as to what the solutions may be. We got some very interesting insights and they will now become part of the report.”

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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