Tuesday 22 January 2019

Rebranded 'Reeks' gains global glory

Beautiful Kerry region listed as 'one of best places in the world to visit' in prestigious 'Rough Guide'

Spectacular: Climbers enjoy the sights of the McGillycuddy Reeks in Co Kerry
Spectacular: Climbers enjoy the sights of the McGillycuddy Reeks in Co Kerry

Pól Ó Conghaile and Ian Begley

Famed for its stunning scenery, mountain walks and outdoor activities, it's no wonder that the 'Reeks District' in Co Kerry has been listed as one of the world's best places to visit in 2019.

The newly rebranded tourism region features at No.3 on the 'Rough Guide's 'Six Regions on our Radar' list, behind Yúnnán in China and Argentina's Iberá Wetlands.

Canada's Yukon Territory, Jordan's Wadi Rum and Alabama, USA, round out the holiday hotspots "that most excite" the guides' authors for the coming year.

The Reeks District is now expected to see a significant boost in tourists thanks to the prestigious accolade.

"Kerry has been on the tourism map for so long, it's easy to be jaded about the region's beauty," the British travel guide stated. "But the spectacular MacGillycuddy's Reeks refresh the brand by taking you inside that postcard scenery.

"Visitors can drive, walk, hike, climb, bike, kayak, surf and sail around the mountains, lakes and coast of a rugged region formerly marketed as 'Mid Kerry', it adds.

Killorglin's Puck Fair, Blue Flag beaches at Inch and Rossbeigh and the 1,038m Carrauntoohil are listed as highlights, as are its live music pubs, warm welcome and the "modern Ireland of trendy coffee shops, young designers and boutique B&Bs."

Thanks to The Mid Kerry Tourism Cluster, the territory that hugs Castlemaine Harbour from Inch to Rossbeigh has been making strides since its launch in April 2018.

Louise McEvoy, who runs Aloha House - a Hawaiian Healing & Yoga retreat in Killorglin - said she hopes the rebrand will make the Reeks District as popular as Killarney and Dingle. "All this promotion we've been receiving over the past year has been just incredible," she said.

"Although the Reeks is on the very popular 'Wild Atlantic Way', there weren't many people who would stay longer than a night. Now with this rebrand, we're certainly giving the likes of Killarney and Dingle a run for their money.

"It's also helped to bring local businesses together in ways that benefit everyone."

Surf school owner Tom Leen, who has been running Kingdom Waves in Ardroe, Inch, for the past 15 years, believes that last year's rebrand has tapped into the region's potential for the first time.

"It's been doing great for us so far, but honestly this is just the beginning. What's really cool about the rebrand is that all of the smaller townlands within the Reeks are being highlighted and bringing far more people into the area.

"There was definitely a need to put this region on the map because most visitors only see Tralee, Killarney and Dingle as their only options when visiting Kerry. So far our online presence is way up and it will be interesting to see just how well we do this summer".

Irish Independent

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