Repeat tourism plan may be Gathering momentum

Visitor initiative a success but no formal discussions yet on doing it all again

Events throughout the country and 
the
an increase in international tourism have been a success, according to a spokeswoman for Tourism Ireland, but as yet 
.Although
there have been no formal discussions about organising a future Gathering year.
, t

Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Events throughout the country and the an increase in international tourism have been a success, according to a spokeswoman for Tourism Ireland, but as yet .Although there have been no formal discussions about organising a future Gathering year. , t Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

 

Ireland’s Year of the Gathering may draw to a close in December, but Tourism Ireland said it’s a possibility the initiative may return in a few years’ time.

Events throughout the country and an increase in international tourism have been a success, according to a spokeswoman for Tourism Ireland, but as yet there have been no formal discussions about organising a future Gathering year.

“It is early days, but I guess it’s a possibility, although no plans have been made to date,” she said.

“The success of the year has yet to be assessed, but it’s certainly something to look at down the line.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport said the notion of bringing the Gathering back at a further point would only be discussed in 2014.

“The figures for the first seven months of 2013 show a very welcome 6 per cent increase in overseas visits to Ireland compared to the same period of 2012. The Gathering 2013 initiative has undoubtedly played an important role in this strong performance. However, the question on whether to repeat the Gathering would only be taken after a full evaluation of this year’s initiative has been undertaken,” she said.

Work building upon the legacy of the Gathering is being carried out by the department, The Gathering Project Team, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland.

Further figures from the CSO show the number of visitors from North America is up by more than a fifth compared to the same period last year.

A Gathering-like event was held in Scotland in 2009 and Homecoming Scotland returns next year. The Gathering’s popularity did not inspire Scotland to reorganise the festivities in 2014, as plans were put in place for events plants around the end of 2009.