Waterford Camino

Waterford Camino, on the path to recovery

“Our market is primarily the domestic market for the autumn of 2021”, Dr. Phil Brennan, founder of Waterford Camino believes that local businesses working together is essential to its recovery.

 ‘Look for Local’ is a new campaign of the Local Enterprise Offices, launched by the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar which asks consumers to look local when they are shopping for products, services and experiences this Summer.

 While Waterford Camino is still in development Phil and his wife Elaine know that the support of the local public and local businesses can make all the difference. “We're also looking at teaming up with Suirway Coaches, Waterford and Original Irish Hotels to roll out our Ireland Way Series. Our existing tour operators are very interested in promoting our Wellbeing Way - Ireland and our Pilgrim Way Ireland. No matter how well you plan, you still need the breaks. The key is to have a team of people around you that share your vision for tourism and who you can trust to put the hard yards in at their end to make it work. We will earn whatever comes our way. But we're up for the challenge!”

 Waterford Camino

The Local Enterprise Office Waterford has been really helpful to Phil and Elaine, “I guess more than anything they've believed in us, and they could see the potential in the product we were offering. They've encouraged us to explore new markets and have given us access to a mentor to help us navigate these waters. They've also offered support in our digital design so that our website fully captures the uniqueness of our Camino trails. It pays to have people who believe in you even before you have proven yourself.”

 This year the Local Enterprise Offices have approved over 12,060 Business Continuity Vouchers to small businesses to help them through the pandemic restrictions while over 55,000 individuals have received Covid-19 specific mentoring or training from their Local Enterprise Office.

 “Covid has had a huge impact on our business”, explained Phil, “Given that our tour offerings include coach transfers and accommodation, we've had to veer on the side of caution until the uncertainty passes. Now, 18 months on, we feel we're coming out the other side and St Declan's Way has become our signature Camino. The timing could not be better as Sports Ireland has recently approved the trail from Cashel to Ardmore as an official Irish Pilgrim Path. Charities who would have traditionally travelled to Spain to do the Camino are now looking at doing it through us. Our Lady's Hospice and The Marie Keating Foundation will be joining us on Camino in Waterford over the coming months.”

 The Look for Local campaign, supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities, aims to raise awareness of the benefit of spending in your local area. This campaign seeks to strengthen that sentiment and to educate consumers on the domino effect that local spending has throughout their community.

 For more information on the campaign go to www.LocalEnterprise.ie/LookforLocal and agencies, businesses and consumers will also be encouraged to use #LookforLocal on social media to help support the campaign.