Updated Programme To Ensure Kerry Remains A Safe Destination

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Con O’Sullivan, Campus Manager Kerry ETB Monavalley Tralee, Pat O’Leary, Chairman, Kerry Federation Tourism Industry, Niamh O’Sullivan, Senior Executive Officer with Kerry County Council and Cathaoirleach Kerry County Council, Cllr. Patrick ‘Scarteen’ O’Connor launching the Safe Destination Programme 2021. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

KERRY is seeking to retain its position as one of the safest destinations in Ireland to visit as it rolls out its new updated Safe Destination Programme for 2021 to coincide with the gradual reopening of society and the economy.

Kerry County Council and its tourism and training partners are launching an updated version of the successful Safe Destination Programme which proved so successful last summer in keeping the county safe.

It is envisaged that over 250 businesses and over 2,000 hospitality staff again undertake the specially devised training course from the Kerry Education and Training Board.

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The Safe Destination Programme 2021 builds on the pioneering work done in 2020 and aims to make Kerry the safest and cleanest of destinations to visit and stay in as the county’s hospitality and retail businesses reopen.

Business premises whose staff have completed the bespoke Kerry ETB training course will receive the ‘Safe Destination 2021’ badge and also qualify for the Fáilte Ireland COVID-19 Safety Charter.

The multifaceted Safe Destination Programme which is supported by Fáilte Ireland, the Irish Hotels Federation and the Kerry Tourism Industry Federation will ensure that those who visit and holiday in Kerry again can do so in the knowledge that it is a safe place to visit and stay.

Kerry was Ireland’s most popular home holiday destination in 2020 and is seeking to repeat that feat this year. The Safe Destination Programme includes:

• A bespoke training programme for tourism and retail staff
• A safer spaces programme (streets, shops and public spaces)
• Preparing communities to welcome tourists back to the county
• A tourism marketing campaign to promote staycations

The bespoke training programme for staff in the tourism and retail industries in the county will be rolled out by the Business Supports Unit of Kerry College (Kerry ETB’s Further Education and Training College) over the next few weeks in the lead up to a more expansive re-opening in early June.

The programme will be underpinned by a marketing campaign to promote Kerry – to the domestic and staycation market – as travel restrictions are relaxed over the coming weeks.

The marketing programme is being developed by the Kerry Tourism Industry Federation with support of NEWKD and SKDP under the LEADER programme with the support of Kerry County Council and Fáilte Ireland.

Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell said that Kerry has been preparing for the reopening for several months while ensuring that the necessary safeguards for locals and visitors are in place as the vaccine programme is rolled out.

“With the support of all the partners in the tourism and the hospitality industry, we can ensure that the re-opening of the tourism sector locally is managed in a safe and effective way so that people can begin again to enjoy the attractions and hospitality the county has to offer while adhering closely to the prevailing public health advice and guidelines,’ she said.

Chairman of the Kerry Education and Training Board, Cllr Jim Finucane said that having staff prepared for the reopening of hotels, restaurants and bars in the coming weeks is critically important.

Colm McEvoy, CEO of Kerry ETB stated: “Kerry College are working closely with Kerry County Council to provide the necessary training which staff will need to work in the current environment. This training will deal with practical steps which staff and businesses will need, to ensure social distancing and other important health guidelines are adhered to.  Kerry College is pleased to be involved Safe Destination Programme 2021, playing an active role in supporting the hospitality and retail businesses as they re-open.”

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