Tourists blind to Listowel's charms

Marisa Reidy

LISTOWEL is being bypassed for other well known tourist spots such as the Ring of Kerry, Killarney and west Kerry because not enough businesses are adequately promoting what they have to offer.

That's according to the Listowel Marketing Group (LMG), who say the town needs to capitalise on its tourism potential by providing a tourist information office and having all tourist facilities, restaurants, accommodation providers and voluntary groups showcase their wares on the newly launched website.

Speaking at a meeting of Listowel Town Council on Monday night, LMG secretary Marie Stack said that while events like Writers' Week and Listowel Races are renowned, there are other events and attractions that are less well known due to lack of proper promotion.

The group's chairperson, Dutch native Menno Roos, told the meeting that of the 25 tour operators that come to Kerry from his native Holland, none travel beyond the Ring of Kerry.

"If we [Listowel] were able to put something on the table to entice them to north Kerry, they are certainly open to looking at that. At the moment, those 25 operators only do the Ring of Kerry. It's not only about the Races and Writers Week. We have the museum, the Lartigue and so much more but it's simply not out there enough."

The group is calling for a dedicated tourist office to be opened in the town, because at present there is no information available to anyone coming to Listowel for a weekend. Ms Stack has also called on the business people, voluntary groups and retailers of Listowel to get in touch and have their details placed on the website free of charge.

The group is also working on a new App for visitors to the town, highlighting what's on offer, and thanks to sponsorship form Kerry Group, will soon be providing 'LoveListowel' merchandise such as caps, T-shirts, mugs, key rings, magnets, pens and car stickers.