LISTOWEL'S local economy is suffering because too little information about the town is available to the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit Kerry. However, a local marketing group aims to change all that.
Listowel Marketing Group this week received funding from Listowel Town Council to help pay for merchandise featuring a 'Love Listowel' logo and a marketing campaign to raise the profile of the town.
"If you land at Kerry Airport there is nothing to say you should visit Listowel so we need to start changing this to get the message out that Listowel is well worth visiting," Marketing Group head Menoo Roos told The Kerryman.
"A lot of people say that we can't do what Killarney does. Of course we can't, we don't have the mountains and the lakes but I'm not sure Listowel needs to think it has to be another Killarney to attract visitors, there's a lot this town has to offer," he said.
A native of Holland now living in the north Kerry capital, Mr Roos said that family members visiting from the Netherlands love what they find. "Listowel's biggest selling point is the unspoilt character of the town and community. When I was a child in Holland I used to go to the bakers every morning, but that is gone there now. However, it still exists in Listowel and its rolling hills, river and narrow streets are extremely attractive to tourists," he said.
The marketing group was established last year, launching its website www.listowel.ie (with the domain given by Listowel Town Council) and creating the logo 'Love Listowel'. This brand will now feature on a range of t-shirts, mugs, hats, pens and much else to help promote the town.
"Apart from anything else we need to get everyone at home behind it, to feature the stickers, buy the merchandise and generally spread the word. At present you can't really buy any gift items like mugs and t-shirts featuring the name of the town as it is mostly generic Irish images. We need a brand for the town that people can take home as gifts for other potential visitors," Mr Roos added.
Listowel Town Mayor Jimmy Moloney said he was delighted to present the funding to the group saying he fully supported its efforts to attract more people to town.
The merchandise will be launched at a barbecue at Stack's Off-Licence in Listowel on Saturday, July 27, at 5pm.