International karate championship boosts local economy and increases visitor numbers

International karate championship boosts local economy and increases visitor numbers

By Mary Dennehy

Basketball Arena 3 of 3 resizedTHE arrival of an international karate championship in Tallaght last weekend signaled a substantial boost for the local economy, which saw more than 450 visitors and participants stay for up to two nights in local hotels.

The first AMA Ireland International Karate Championship kicked off in the National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, on Saturday, and attracted players, officials and spectators from across Ireland, Britain and mainland Europe.

Securing events like this is part of South Dublin County Council’s Tourism Strategy, with the local authority seeing the benefit such events can have in generating spending across the hotel, food/drink and retail sector.

Tony Shanahan, of the council’s County Promotion Unit, told The Echo: “It’s not just about encouraging extra visitors to the county but encouraging people to stay longer than one day in the county.

“According to national figures, for every 1,000 tourists brought into an area, 18 jobs are created across the food, retail and hotel sector, which is quite significant.

“This is just one of a number of events secured by the council in the hope of getting people into the county and maximising opportunities for different businesses and increasing spend.”

South Dublin County is ideally located close to the city centre and is well serviced by public transport links – including the Luas – hotels, shopping centres, leisure activities and more.

The council is currently developing a marketing strategy and tourism website and will soon be circulating site details and brochures to event organisers so trips to the county can be planned in advance.

The council is also trialling brochure stands in various locations with local businesses in the activity sector in particular reporting a pick-up in trade from this promotion.

“According to surveys we have done, around 15 per cent of people staying in local hotels have come to the county to attend an event”, Mr Shanahan said.

“Hotels across the county are really competitively priced for Dublin and are well located beside transport links such as the Luas and N7.

“Last year there was more than 70 per cent occupancy in local hotels for the year, which is quite strong, and we expect that occupancy level to rise this year.”

He added: “The county has so much potential in terms of tourism and the council will continue to bid for events and successfully secure them.

“Alongside developing our marketing strategy, we will continue to work alongside Fáilte Ireland and the Dublin Event Bureau.”

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