Niche Destination Plan Announced
Ennis Niche Destination Plan commissioned by Promote Ennis was recently announced as a three year destination development plan and a Covid recovery plan for the tourism industry. The following article and interview with Brian Crowley appeared in the Clare Champion providing additional context to the plan that has been embraced across all areas of commercial life in Ennis.
A PLAN to drive Ennis’ economic recovery post Covid-19 has been described as “visionary” by one of the country’s most accomplished businessmen.
The plan, developed by Ennis based Repucon Consulting was already in advance research stage pre-Covid as a niche destination plan. Once Covid took grip in March the plan was refocused to develop a framework for recovery that will include all strands of commercial life in Ennis from accommodation, services, hospitality and retail.
Thinking outside the box, the client team, led by Ennis Chamber recruited the support and leadership skills of entrepreneur Brian Crowley to drive the delivery of the Ennis recovery plan. Mr Crowley, COO, Broadlake and founder of international healthcare recruitment firm TTM Healthcare and health and social care service provider Resilience Healthcare, accepted the challenge to lead the implementation of the Recovery / Niche Destination Plan for Ennis.
“I grew up in Ennis and started TTM Healthcare here, and while our operations have grown and extended across Europe, using multiple sites, Ennis remains our HQ. I live in Dublin but retain my love for Ennis. It is an amazing, vibrant town, a place I am very proud to call my hometown. Because of this I was delighted to engage with the team from Promote Ennis – representing Ennis Chamber and Clare County Council and to accept to their invitation to chair the implementation group. Once, I studied the plan, I realised it is professional and visionary, and I was confident it contained the foundations for the town’s recovery post-Covid.”
He added, “I look forward to working with the Implementation group with its broad mix of representation from tourism, hospitality and retail as well as cultural and creative sectors. Within the group is an impressive range of skills and experience.”
Mark O’Connell, Repucon Consulting commented, “We enjoyed working on this project, there was immediate buy-in from the very outset and it was clear that the town has a renewed ambition around tourism and the wider benefits that will bring to the town.”
Repucon Consulting have been involved in tourism development and economic planning projects internationally and across every region in Ireland. O’Connell added, “It is clear the town possesses something very special and is a real example of how great places to visit are also great places to live and work. The success of the recovery plan will be felt across all sectors but will be dependent on sustained collaboration. We have already seen the fruits of the new levels of collaboration in the town and destinations like Ennis are going to be vital in the wider regional recovery.”
The new plan focuses on the development of tourism and economic activity in Ennis in addition to recognising the role it will play is regenerating the tourism industry across the county. Ennis contains 21% of the county’s bedstock and will be an important factor in attracting and retaining visitors in Clare.
Project research established a new focus for the marketing of the town emphasising the role of its people, community and strong cultural base. Mr O’Connell said, ‘The historical foundations of Ennis as an island presents a fascinating story for visitors, while the historic town boundary takes the form of an attractive heart shape. This will form the basis for a new branded approach for the town and a new energy behind the profiling and promotion of the town.”
Already, businesses in Ennis, despite the dire economic backdrop have shown their belief in the plan by donating handsomely towards the marketing of Ennis as a destination. Ennis was announced winner of the ‘Large Town’ category as part of the recent Bank of Ireland ‘Begin Together’ Awards, winning a prize of €10,000. Showing his commitment above and beyond his precious time, Brian Crowley match funded, to increase the marketing budget for Ennis by €20,000 in the space of a few hours. Businesses have also promoted the use of the hashtag #EVERYBODYlovesENNIS.