Ballyhoura bike trail gets massive boost from 'Kimye effect'
Published 28/06/2014 | 12:07
The rural adventure bike trail where honeymooners Kim Kardashian and Kanye West visted has reported a boost in tourism thanks to the 'Kimye effect'.
Fergal Somers, manager of Ballyhoura Failte, the local tourism organisation in Kilfinane, Co Limerick, said that there has been a significant interest which has almost doubled since their May trip. Mr Somers said that they had to draft in additional support to cope with the demand.
"Phone calls here at the weekend alone would have increased by 80pc and the number of group inquiries from sport and social clubs in the surrounding counties has also increased by about 80pc," he said.
"The bigger hotels in the area have seen a larger increase to their site from our website in relation to bookings.
"Traffic on the website went up over 50pc immediately. We had to get website support to make sure it could take the traffic."
He said interest in medieval Castleoliver where the American couple spent the first night of their honeymoon has also seen a boost in enquiries. During their stay they went hiking and biking and stopped off in a small pub where they gave a generous tip.
Kim and Kanye shunned exotic locations for the first night of their honeymoon and the reality star later revealed that they fell in love with Ireland during a previous visit.
And as the couple are set to return next week for Kanye's gig in Marlay Park, Mr Somers said they may return to Limerick as they had sent an email saying they'd love to visit again: "They said if time permitted they'd like to revisit when next in Ireland."