This year’s Spraoi, which concluded with a magnificent fireworks display on Sunday night, was probably the most successful ever from an artistic and commercial point of view with huge crowds attracted into the city throughout the weekend. All city hotels, bars and retailers reported brisk business and people were almost unanimous in their praise for the quality and variety of the street acts and bands booked to perform.
Declan Murphy of Failte Ireland Enterprise Development confirmed that the festival had attracted large crowds and, apart from day-trippers, many accommodation providers reported high booking levels.
Mr Murphy said Waterford was now enjoying a prominent position on the tourism itinerary with the opening of the House of Waterford Crystal, the introduction of walking tours of the Viking Triangle, the Waterford Trad Music Trail (taking place on Wednesday Evenings) to mention just a few. Those along with Jack Burtchaell’s City Walking tour, the Museum of Treasures, Christ Church Cathedral and the Edmond Rice Visitor Centre made a very strong visitor offering for the City.
Mr Murphy pointed out that Destination Waterford City, a grouping representing the City Council, Failte Ireland, tourism providers and stakeholders, was working well to build up the visitor product offering and to promote the city. As Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford had a lot of history that was attractive to overseas and Irish holiday makers and he believed the future looked bright.