Local tourism in Tramore got a great shot in the arm last week with the annual racing festival. It may not have cured all the summer ills but it sure knocked the pessimists for six. Hotels, guesthouses were all full over the weekend. Restaurants and bars also did a good trade as not just the racing brought people out but also the Kav Music Festival over the weekend.
The Tramore racecourse directors, caterers and suppliers are to be praised for putting on a good show over the four days and lifting people’s spirits. The weather played its part too but, yet again, our national forecasters again got it wrong! Forecast heavy rains did not materialise unlike last year when two meetings had to be cancelled.
This year the idea of a ‘stay vacation’ has become in vogue with fewer going abroad. Tour operators have noted a drop in revenue on people going away.
This has also meant that more Irish are staying at home this year and if the weather is anyway positive they will make it to the coast and places like Tramore. There was also great support from Waterford city people for the event and from the county.
The race course organisers noted many new faces and a younger generation keen to make a day out but to do it in a well mannered fashion. Down on the streets in the town the music festival also saw people well behaved and enjoying themselves with young and old in attendance. Some venues like the Grand Hotel had great national acts like the Fureys, Andy Irvine and the Wolfe Tones who all played to packed audiences.
Tourism operators in Tramore will be encouraged after suffering a tough season. A month earlier, they had reported trade down heavily due to the bad weather and the recession. Improved weather for the autumn may bring some extra weekend business to make up a little for a tough year.
Tramore has been through tough times in the Eighties and survived and this should be no different. A trip to Kilkenny last week saw their Arts Festival thrive with ticket sales up 25 per cent. The next event, the Harvest Festival in Waterford, should be fully supported in September.