The Minister helped to launch the next Donegal Live event which will take place in Dublin on May 22 following the success of the event in Glasgow earlier this month.
And he was high in his praise of hotels and other tourism businesses on how they set aside competition to work together for the good of Donegal.
The Minister joined forces with Fáilte Ireland and a number of local Donegal associations to launch Donegal Live 2011.
Returning to Dublin following the resounding success of last year’s event in Temple Bar, Donegal Live will this year take place at the Iveagh Gardens which will be transformed into the North West for one day only on Sunday May 22nd. A host of Donegal artists are lined up to entertain the crowds as well as Donegal personalities who will be on hand to lend their name and time to promote the county.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Varadkar praised all those involved in Donegal Live and stressed the importance of working together to promote tourism in Ireland.
“I’m pleased to welcome Donegal Live back to Dublin for the second year running. I am very encouraged to hear that last year’s event was a great success. A large number of the tourism businesses who took part enjoyed a strong summer performance on the back of the extensive exposure and publicity generated by the Temple Bar event.
“This event is an excellent way to target and market Donegal to a Dublin audience. But alongside the excellent publicity, it’s great to see the strong spirit of partnership and collaboration between the Donegal traders who invest their time, efforts, and an array of special offers to make it a success.”
There will be over 200 Donegal tourism businesses in the Iveagh Gardens on the day and interactive stands will feature the many quality attractions, activities, food, festivals and accommodation on offer in the county. A carnival atmosphere of music, song and dance will be created with many big name celebrities attending including Moira Brennan, Mickey Joe Harte and many others.
Paul McLoone, our Head of Operations in the North West, believes the event provides a great opportunity for Donegal to target its key market, Irish people.
He said: “As a county, Donegal is heavily dependent on the home holiday market with 70% of visitors travelling from within the island of Ireland. We hope Donegal Live will once again bring Donegal to the attention of Dublin residents and those in the surrounding counties and help to dispel the myth that Donegal is too far away for a holiday.
“Last year’s event brought great dividends to local Donegal providers and optimism is high again for this year. With significant media publicity gained for Donegal along with hotel occupancy rates up 7% following the event, I have no doubt that Donegal Live will remain a firm fixture on the tourism calendar in the coming years.”