Sunday 20 October 2019

Bettie-Marie: Let's embrace initiative

The chairwoman of Visit Wexford, Bettie-Marie Burger-Smit, agreed that Ireland's Ancient East is a 'game changer'.

Ms Burger-Smit said the Fáilte Ireland initiative needs to be fully embraced by stakeholders and everyone involved in tourism in the county.

There was outrage among some councillors when the plan was launched on Tuesday as the county wasn't mentioned. However, three of the county's attractions, Hook Lighthouse, the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience and the Kennedy Homestead all feature on a map on the Ireland's Ancient East website.

Ms Burger-Smit said: 'County Wexford is very much on the map. The last time I looked New Ross is part of Wexford unless someone has changed the border.'

Ms Burger-Smit said some people didn't wait for the full facts about the initiative to be unveiled, adding that it took three years for the Wild Atlantic Way brand to be embraced.

She said even though Ireland's Ancient East encompasses a number of counties, it is still relatively small, especially for foreign tourists who are more used to travelling for four or five hours in their native countries.

'It will be a game changer if we give it time. Wells House is an example of a privately owned tourist destination on the east coast of Wexford of how collaboration works. Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford have already been working together and selling the region. The east coast will be the focus over the coming years on the back of the Wild Atlantic Way. There is an extraordinary amount of exciting things happening and now people are waking up to it.'

Wexford People

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