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Limerick designated as Wild Atlantic Way Gateway City

Limerick designated as Wild Atlantic Way Gateway City

To mark the occasion, Limerick City and County Council launches Double Your Summer campaign

Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, today designated Limerick as a gateway city to the Wild Atlantic Way. This is the first gateway city designation along the famous 2,600-kilometre route stretching from Malin Head in Donegal, to Kinsale in Cork.

Wild Atlantic Way hugely successful

Having commenced in 2013 as a post-recession marketing campaign intended to bring more tourists to off-the-beaten-path places along the coastal Atlantic corridor, the Wild Atlantic Way proved to be a resounding success. Over the five years up to 2019, visitors to those less touristy places increased by extra 1 million, spending EUR 3 billion (2 billion by international guests).

Limerick, however, was not getting much benefit from the Wild Atlantic Way despite its proximity to the route. This assessment harnessed two years ago Limerick City and County Council, Fáilte Ireland, local accommodation providers and tourist operators to develop a strategy showcasing Limerick as a gateway city with the aim of luring leisure visitors to the historic locality.

"Limerick has been very successful in attracting corporate business but now we want them to come back as leisure visitors and explore the distinct built heritage it has to offer like King Johns Castle, St Mary's Cathedral, its Georgian Quarter, its waterfront and its milk market, one of the oldest established markets in the country," said Miriam Kennedy, head of Fáilte Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way, as quoted by public broadcaster RTÉ.

Double Your Summer experience

To mark its new designation as a Wild Atlantic Way Gateway City, Limerick City and County Council launched today its Double Your Summer campaign. It builds on the success of last year’s 50 Days of Summer campaign which, in spite of the city’s pandemic-hit term as European Capital of Culture, ultimately helped to save the summer season.

The Double Your Summer campaign will provide a range of incentives and reasons for visitors to come to Limerick and do more, try more or get more of their stay in the city and county. Among the incentives are four prize experiences developed in collaboration with popular social media content creators - Double the Delicious, Double the Adventure, Double the Culture and Double the Indulgence. Also included are 10 Limited Edition Offers, from special hotel deals to super discounts for top restaurants, which are open via a redeemable code to visitors who sign up to the mailing list on the campaign's page.

Launching the campaign, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Michael Collins said, as quoted by limerick.ie“Twelve months ago there was so much uncertainty for the summer season and for our tourism providers. But Limerick responded to the Covid challenge with typical resilience and, thanks in no small part to the local authority’s campaign, welcomed domestic tourists to the city and county who were never here before and the feedback was excellent. Limerick is a tourism jewel in its own right but its new designation as a gateway city to the Wild Atlantic Way is a huge boost for us.

“Covid has been a huge challenge but we’ve connected with a whole new market here that would otherwise have been travelling abroad. They liked what they saw last year and not least the welcome. This year we’re doubling down on the welcome with more outdoor dining spaces installed across Limerick and we’ve also introduced a waiver for a tables and chairs licence and for canopies and awnings for our hospitality sector. We’re constantly looking at ways to advance our offering and it’s reaping dividends.”

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