Seventy of the world’s leading academics in the area of adventure tourism were blown away by the county at a major conference last week and it is now hoped the event will help drive further investment in the sector.
Delegates from as far away as China and New Zealand were treated to three days of hands-on adventuring and illuminating lectures as part of the fifth-annual International Adventure Conference held at the IT Tralee and the Rose Hotel last week.
Champion Irish surfer Easkey Britton was the keynote speaker of the week, in a busy bill that included Irish explorer Dermot Somers and plenty of exciting excursions.
This was the first time the conference was held in Ireland, but likely not the last time many of the delegates will visit the Kingdom.
“Two thirds of delegates told us they would be coming back to Kerry in the near future,” leader of the Adventure Tourism Management course at the IT and chief organiser Sophie Price said.
“They absolutely loved it and couldn’t believe the diversity of adventure activities within such a short distance of the IT. We took them surfing in Banna, coasteering in Meenogahane among many other activities.”
The conference put Kerry slap bang in the middle of the world adventure map – at least as it is understood by academics.
“It was the first time in Ireland for many and we were repeatedly told it was the best conference in the series yet, so Kerry is definitely on their map,” Sophie said.
It’s now hoped this might drive adventure tourism growth here as lecturers bring the message back with them.
“It was wonderful too that we were able to undertake so many activities with local operators,” Sophie added.
Published: IrishIndependent.ie, 29 October 2016