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Kerry hoteliers in upbeat form as they look forward to 2017

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Terence Mulcahy, president of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation. PICTURE: DON MACMONAGLE

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THE latest Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) quarterly barometer released today shows that overall hotel and guesthouse owners in Kerry and across the country are optimistic for their businesses in 2017.

Nine out of ten (91%) state they recorded increased business in 2016 while over half (57%) of hotels and guesthouses grew their workforce during the year. Coming to the end of one of the strongest tourism years since the recession, the barometer also shows that nine out of ten (89%) have plans to reinvest in their properties in the New Year.

According to Terence Mulcahy, president of the Kerry Branch of the IHF, confidence among hoteliers is steadily improving as the recovery in tourism continues. This has been influenced by highly effective marketing campaigns such as The Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. Mr Mulcahy says that these unique marketing campaigns have strengthened Ireland’s brand and image as a holiday destination abroad and it is particularly positive that there is a pattern of sustained growth from other European countries beyond the UK.

“Irish tourism has seen a record-breaking year in 2016 and there is a lot to celebrate as the most recent CSO figures show that 8.9 million overseas visitors have visited Ireland in 2016, up 11% on 2015. This is an outstanding achievement and a result of the hard work being carried out by the entire tourism industry in partnership with the national tourism bodies," said Mr Mulcahy.

“It is heartening that our members here in Kerry and elsewhere are seeing growth on the ground from US, German and French visitors. There are good reasons to be optimistic about our key North America and European markets in the coming year as well. However, there are signs that growth is slowing out of the UK market. While it is too early to say what the effect of Brexit will be, the uncertainty and the fall in the value of Sterling will pose challenges. Many of the consequences are largely outside our control, so it is imperative that we mitigate the risks and potential damage where possible. This is a key task for us in the coming years as we work to deliver sustainable, long-term growth. In particular, continued Government support for tourism in the form of investment in marketing and product development will be critical to ensuring that tourism fulfils its true potential for further employment growth.

“We must be mindful too that our tourism marketing strategies encourage overseas tourists to travel beyond the key urban centres and traditional ‘hot spots’ so that we can extend tourism success across the county.”

The IHF’s barometer does reveal significant optimism despite Brexit concerns, with the vast majority (89%) planning to upgrade and reinvest in their businesses with two thirds (66%) stating that they will increase spend on marketing in 2017.

The IHF’s barometer shows business tourism is also an area of growth, supported by increased activity in the domestic economy. Of those hotels catering for corporate meetings and business events 46% stated in the IHF’s barometer that they witnessed an increase over the past 12 months.
 


 
Above: Terence Mulcahy, president, Kerry branch of the IHF. PICTURE: DON MACMONAGLE

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Killarney stage to feature in new look Rás Mumhan

Cycling By Sean Moriarty Killarney will play a crucial role in the revival of four-day Kerry Group Rás Mumhan cycle race. The event, one of the biggest road races in Ireland. It has not run since 2019 after Killorglin Cycling Club withdrew from organising it.The organisation of Rás Mumhan was transferred to a committee in […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney will play a crucial role in the revival of four-day Kerry Group Rás Mumhan cycle race.

The event, one of the biggest road races in Ireland. It has not run since 2019 after Killorglin Cycling Club withdrew from organising it.
The organisation of Rás Mumhan was transferred to a committee in County Tipperary but they never got the event off the ground as a result of the pandemic.

A new joint effort between four cycling clubs in Kerry has taken over the running of the event under new race director Daithi Creedon and his committee.

It will be the first major Stage Race on the Irish Cycling Calendar and will take place over the four days of Easter weekend from April 15 to April 18.

Killarney Cycling club will run the second leg of the event – a stage from the town to Sneem via Bealach Oisin Pass on Easter Saturday.

The opening leg will be hosted by Tralee Manor West BC and will start and finish in the county town and run via Annascaul and Castlemaine.

Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club is in charge of day three which takes in Knocknagree, Rathmore and Kishkeam.

The final day is in the hands of Currow Cycling Club and they will run the Knocknagoshel to Headley’s Bridge looped stage.

“This year’s route will allow the riders to race every day, with undulating roads and deliberately staying away from big category 1 climbs, this will open up the race for aggressive racing. Stage four will be a spectator friendly stage and will be a great finale to Rás Mumhan,” said Creedon.

“We wish to acknowledge and thank Killorglin Cycling Club for the fantastic work they have carried out in promoting and running this event in the past.”

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Northern lights delight for Aoife and Sinead

By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Tyrone hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships. Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was the Spa/Killarney trio of Aoife Walsh, Sinead Moriarty and Niamh Faulds who shot out the Northern […]

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By Con Dennehy

The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Tyrone hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships.

Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was the Spa/Killarney trio of Aoife Walsh, Sinead Moriarty and Niamh Faulds who shot out the Northern lights with a phenomenal display of handball.

In the Ladies ‘Challenger 1 Wall’ competition Aoife Walsh faced a top-class field.

Following quarter and semi-final wins, she went into the final with the favourites tag.

Walsh again produced a sizzling display of handball to outclass her opponent, Emma O’Neill (Tyrone), to clinch the title on a 15-4 scoreline.

There was further joy for the Spa based club when one of their promising new players, Sinead Moriarty, teamed up with Clare Conway (Tyrone) and Carla Corcoran (Tyrone) in the Mixed Grade team competition.

Twelve teams contested this competition with Moriarty key to their success. In the opening rounds the team scored 25-16 and 25-20 to reach the final where they had an impressive 25-22 victory in a classic game that showcased the finer skills of handball.

The other Killarney competitor, Niamh Faulds added to her growing reputation with some impressive games in the “1 Wall’, ‘4 Wall’ and team competitions, winning one game and narrowly loosing out in the other games despite close 25-18, 21-19, 21-17 score-lines.

“This has been a historic and important weekend for women’s handball in Kerry. Winning titles is a massive boost for the sport and something we can build on in the coming weeks and months,” said Jack O’Shea, P.R.O. of the Kerry Handball Board.

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