Newstalk's Bobby Kerr to chair Great Lighthouses project

The scheme wants to attract tourists to Ireland's lighthouses

Newstalk's Bobby Kerr to chair Great Lighthouses project

Bobby Kerr | File photo

Newstalk presenter and entrepreneur Bobby Kerr is the new independent chairperson of The Great Lighthouses of Ireland Partnership.

The all-island tourism initiative was developed by the Commissioners of Irish Lights.

Kerr will chair the body, which features 12 lighthouses in locations around Ireland.

In his first act as chairperson, the 'Down to Business' host will attend Seafest 2017 - the national maritime festival in Galway this weekend.

He will meet with lighthouse operators and representatives from the Commissioner of Irish Lights.

Kerr takes up the pro-bono role just as the partnership has agreed a new marketing and development strategy up to 2020.

The aim is to drive up visitor numbers and grow revenue.

The 12 sites combined attracted some 135,000 visitors in 2016, with tourists offered the chance to both visit and stay in a lighthouse.

Chief executive of Irish Lights, Yvonne Shields, said: "Our maritime heritage is a great source of pride.

"Through Great Lighthouses of Ireland, Irish Lights has brought together a group of people who are deeply rooted in our coastal communities and hugely committed to our lighthouse heritage, and we are delighted that Bobby Kerr will be working with us to support this leading-edge project."

Speaking as he accepted the invitation to act as chairperson, Kerr said: "I'm incredibly excited to be given this unique opportunity to contribute to such a high-profile and imaginative tourism offering as the Great Lighthouses of Ireland.

"I am committed to ensuring that this partnership adds value to the national tourism development agenda, partners and coastal communities in a manner that is sustainable and one that we are all proud to be associated with."