December Newsletter

15th Jan. 2021

Another year comes to end! Although this year has been an extraordinarily challenging time for tourism providers, there have been many positives to focus on. The 2021 Budget saw an increase of €59 million on the 2020 allocation for the tourism industry. A number of grants and schemes have been established to aid tourism providers, as Fáilte Ireland continues to demonstrate its enduring support. Munster Vales launched its Strategic Development Plan 2020-2025 which aims to build on the incredible potential within the heart of Munster, encouraging a greater footfall of tourists.

Munster Vales Community Engagement Programme

We would like to alert you to a programme you and your community might be interested in for 2021.

Communities in the Munster Vales area have the opportunity to take part in a Community Tourism Engagement Pilot training programme. This series of workshops will be delivered online, once monthly starting in January. The programme will be facilitated and delivered by Cillian Murphy (not the actor!) but a tourism consultant who also co-founded Loop Head Tourism. Through his work with many communities and agencies he has developed a practical, place based, methodology that places host communities at the very centre of the destination development process, empowering and capacity building them to better understand what opportunities they have, what they are happy to ‘sell’, and to whom and when it is appropriate. Cillian has worked with Visit Lofoten, Central Counties Tourism, Ontario Canada, Clwdyian Range Tourism Group, and most recently has lead the delivery of the community engagement for The National Trust Northern Ireland on their future sustainability plans for the Giants Causeway and Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge.

Munster Vales promotes the experiences of Ballyhoura Country, Tipperary, Waterford and Cork and sees that the vibrant communities across the region have been welcoming visitors for decades. Feedback and surveys show that visitors particularly like to meet and get to know the local people when they visit off the beaten locations, it offers an authentic, memorable experience that often leads to return visits and positive reviews and word of mouth. Community engagement and buy in is paramount to ensure that together, we can attract visitors to our area.

Munster Vales will be running this FREE pilot training programme from January 2021 and you, as community members are invited to participate.

There is limited capacity for this programme so please if you are interested don’t delay and register your interest with Triona O Mahony [email protected] or phone 087-1189206 for more information. Please do so by 23rd December 2020.

Message from the CEO of Fáilte Ireland

As the country reopens for the Christmas period, some restrictions have lifted as we move to Level 3 of the Government’s Plan for Living with COVID-19. In reaction, Fáilte Ireland has worked with the Government and the HSE to issue a helpful digital toolkit to stay safe this Christmas. The ‘Take Care Together’ toolkit for was devised to help both businesses and customers. Through this campaign, Fáilte Ireland and the Government aim to remind everyone of some simple steps to help us look after one another this Christmas. To help communicate the Take Care Together message the digital toolkit, including a poster, table cards, and strut cards, is available to download on the Fáilte Ireland website,

Fáilte Ireland has released marketing and social media tips for businesses to boast sales and digital development throughout the Christmas period. These helpful tips and tricks can be found on the COVID Support Hub,

Training Available

Munster Vales hopes to carry out a training needs analysis in 2021 to identify any specific training needs, if you have any training requests please get in touch and we will work closely with the Local Enterprise Offices, ETB and Ballyhoura Development to facilitate these needs.

Updates from the Office of Public Works

The OPW has updated its regulations in keeping with the latest Level 3 restrictions. Outdoor playgrounds, play areas, and parks will remain open. Face coverings are recommended in busy or crowded areas. Those with Heritage Cards expiring 14 March 2020, will be extended for a full year to 13 March 2021 due to the extensive closures throughout the year. Free/Reduced admissions to many of the OPW fee paying sites will be extended to the end of 2020. The Free Wednesday Scheme is no longer applicable. Exterior access to several heritages sites has been granted, such as Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle. Doneraile Estate, the Swiss Cottage, Ormond Castle, and Dungarvan Castle have all closed for the season.

New Development Opportunities for the New Year

LEO Tipperary is offering online training courses and webinars from social media for beginners and business start-ups, to sales and marketing. To view the full list for January and February 2021, visit LEO Tipperary.

Keep up to date with Ballyhoura Development and LEO Waterford to view their training opportunities to come in the New Year.

Get Outdoors & Download Ballyhoura Trails Guide App

Did you know that the Ballyhoura Trails Guide App is available to download? This could prove useful over the holiday season when searching for suitable walks for you and your family or to direct visitors towards Ballyhoura Country.

There are 11 walks ranging in distance from 5km to 18km. These walks vary from easy strolls to challenging hikes through sandy roadways, woodland trails and forest paths.

You can also use the app to pick the perfect place to stay and explore more of the region. Keeping your energy up is important and the app will help you find a café or restaurant to refuel after your walk.

Available in four languages - English, Spanish, German and French - making it accessible to visitors from across the globe. Download it now!

Merry Christmas from Munster Vales.

We look forward to a happy and safe New Year.