The inclusion of tourism initiatives in the Action Plan for Rural Ireland is positive and the enormous tourism potential for Cavan and Monaghan must be realised.
“Tapping into the enormous tourism potential which exists in Cavan and Monaghan must be a priority in terms of supporting towns and villages across our counties. With so many cultural and scenic attractions in Cavan and in Monaghan, we undoubtedly have the landscape to bring more tourists to our local area.
“In working to increase the amount of tourists and overseas visitors coming to Cavan and Monaghan, we must engage with the Irish diaspora abroad.
“In my own experience, having been involved on a committee in my area in organising a school reunion, I saw first hand how beneficial engaging with the Irish diaspora abroad, and in other parts of Ireland, can be. This event alone brought back many people, some of whom had not returned since they had moved away. Many of them are now visiting more regularly and keeping in touch with old friends.
“While this is only one example of attracting people to visit Cavan and Monaghan, it highlights the benefits of encouraging a greater level of connection with the Irish diaspora abroad and showcases the importance of local community groups in increasing the number of visitors coming to our towns and villages.
“Attracting greater numbers of tourists to Cavan and Monaghan will also increase the amount of money spent in local businesses, and will therefore support them and allow them to grow and create more jobs.
“We must work to increase the level of connection we have with the Irish abroad as members of the Irish diaspora can be relied upon to return as tourists and support their home communities.”