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					                               Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




                                         FOREWORD

It is with great pleasure that I pen the foreword for: Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A
Framework for Action 2003-2012, as produced by the Galway City and County Tourism
Committee. This document is a testament to the commitment, hard work, enthusiasm and co-
operative spirit, which has permeated the work ethos of this action oriented Committee since its
inception in 2002 under the auspices of the Galway City and County Development Boards. Most of
all, the production of this document, which represents the first cross-sectoral integrated approach
to tourism development in Galway City and County illustrates what can be achieved in terms of
cost savings, information-sharing, efficiency and economies of scale from a desire to accelerate
tourism growth in Galway through proactive co-operation.

Galway is a vibrant, diverse destination, offering the visitor a broad range of product experiences
encompassing the carnival atmosphere of its Celtic City to the breath-taking natural beauty of
Connemara. In addition, developing areas in East and North Galway are endowed with heritage
which is reflected through an array of historical, ecclesiastical, monastic and other treasures
representative of centuries now past. Galway also possesses the largest Gaeltacht population in
Ireland, which greatly adds to its allure as a tourist destination. In essence, Galway appeals to
many people who travel from very different locations, not least the indigenous population, who
have made Galway the second most popular destination in the domestic breaks market.

However, whilst acknowledging Galway’s strengths and attractions, the Galway City and County
Tourism Committee were highly conscious of the recent challenges confronting the tourism sector
including: a global economic downturn, political uncertainty and changes in consumer travel
demands. Consequently, the Committee actively pursued and encouraged a more integrated
approach to sustainable tourism development. Central to its work remit has been the need to
address weaknesses, fully capitalise on the opportunities in evidence and avoid complacency. In
doing so, it was felt that the development of a co-ordinated, integrated approach would serve to
cushion Galway from future external shocks.

Within this context, the Framework for Action at its name suggests presents a blueprint of the
essential action areas identified by the Committee and its relevant stakeholders namely: integrated
and highly targeted marketing initiatives, improved access routes across all transportation modes,
development of a strong product base offering value for money and of pivotal importance promoting
excellence of service provision and hospitality across all sectors. In sum, the Framework outlines
an ambitious programme of work involving numerous tourism actors for the period 2003-2012.

With the launch of this Framework, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of
the Galway City and County Tourism Committee and the numerous key stakeholders for their
generous time and participation in this process without whom the development of this project
would not have been possible.

Guím gach rath ar an gcoiste agus ar an stráiteis nua seo i gcur chun cinn na
turasóireachta i nGaillimh.




__________________________________________________
Brian Flynn
Chairman




                                                 I
Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




                II
                                         Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action



                          DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN
                          GALWAY - A FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION
CONTENTS

FOREWORD

1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                                                                             1

2. BACKGROUND TO OUR FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION                                                                                       7
2.1 GALWAY CITY AND COUNTY TOURISM COMMITTEE                                                                                    9
2.2 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES                                                                                                        10
2.3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY                                                                                                       10


3. DEVELOPING OUR FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION                                                                                        13
3.1   THE CURRENT SITUATION                                                                                                    14
3.2   INTERNATIONAL TOURISM                                                                                                    14
3.3   IRISH TOURISM                                                                                                            15
3.4   THE WEST REGION                                                                                                          16
3.5   GALWAY                                                                                                                   17
      Galway City                                                                                                              19
      Galway East                                                                                                              20
      West Galway                                                                                                              20
      The Gaeltacht                                                                                                            20
      The Islands - Árainn and Inishbofin                                                                                      21

4. KEY CHALLENGES FACING GALWAY                                                                                                23
4.1 MARKETING                                                                                                                  24
4.2 ACCESS                                                                                                                     26
4.3 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT                                                                                                        28
4.4 SERVICING THE VISITOR                                                                                                      31
4.5 OUR STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS                                                                       33
4.6 OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE                                                                                                  35


5. A FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION                                                                                                     37
5.1 SUMMARY OF OUR FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION                                                                                        39
ACTION AREA 1 - MARKETING                                                                                                      41
ACTION AREA 2 - ACCESS                                                                                                         47
ACTION AREA 3 – PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT                                                                                            55
ACTION AREA 4 – SERVICING THE VISITOR                                                                                          65

6. IMPLEMENTING OUR FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION                                                                                       71

7.BIBLIOGRAPHY/SOURCES                                                                                                         75

APPENDIX 1 ADDITIONAL STAKEHOLDERS                                                                                             78
FIGURE 1   MEMBERSHIP OF THE GALWAY CITY & COUNTY TOURISM COMMITTEE ......................................... 9
FIGURE 2   RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................ 11
FIGURE 3   WEST REGION NUMBERS & REVENUE 2002 ......................................................................... 16
FIGURE 4   UNDERSTANDING OUR FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION ................................................................... 38
FIGURE 5   IMPLEMENTING OUR FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION ...................................................................... 72




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Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




                II
         Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




1.



     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY




                         1
                                      Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


                                                                  including marketing plans for East
      1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                        Galway, West Galway and Galway City

                                                                  Positioning the ‘Galway’ tourism product
                                                                  within the context of current national and
     2. BACKGROUND TO OUR                                         international tourism policy developments
     FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION
                                                                  Assessment of the current status of
                                                                  sustainable tourism in County Galway
Recent world and European events have led
to a deterioration in the highs experienced by                    Consultation with all relevant tourism
the Irish tourism industry in 2000.                               stakeholders to identify the key priorities
September 11th and other terrorist attacks,                       for the County over the period 2003-2012
Foot and Mouth Disease, rising Irish inflation
and a shift in travel patterns have all caused                    Identification of the key actions, targets
the Irish tourist industry to reassess its                        and implementing agencies for each
priorities and engage once again in a highly                      priority area
competitive environment.
                                                                  Implementation   and     monitoring      of
Within this context, the Galway City and                          ‘Developing  Sustainable   Tourism       in
County Tourism Committee was established,                         Galway – A Framework for Action’
under the auspices of the Galway City and
County Development Boards1 respectively.                       To ascertain the current circumstances of
The ultimate aim of this Committee is to                       tourism in Galway an overview of the tourism
increase the level of interaction and                          industry on an International, National,
integration between various organisations                      Regional and County level is presented. This
involved in tourism development within                         overview was achieved through extensive
Galway.                                                        research and analysis of the latest data
                                                               available. Key findings from this analysis
                                                               include:
                                                                   International tourist arrivals in 2001
         3. DEVELOPING OUR                                         decreased by 0.6% on 2000
         FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION                                     Emergence of new travel trends such as
                                                                  shorter more frequent breaks, online
                                                                  booking and the popularity of low cost
The Galway City and County Tourism                                airlines
Committee recognised the need to increase
integration   and    co-ordination  between                       In 2002 overseas tourist numbers to
various groups, bodies, agencies and traders                      Ireland increased by 1%
operating in County Galway in order to
maximise the benefits of existing resources.                      Domestic tourism fell from €1.26 million
For this reason ‘Developing Sustainable                           in 2001 to €961,000 in 2002
Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action’
for Galway City and County was produced.                          97% of respondents to a CERT survey
                                                                  stated that they would recommend
The terms of reference which underpin this                        Ireland as a holiday destination
Framework include:
                                                                  The     West    region    accounts    for
    The development of a vision of sustainable                    approximately 15% of overseas tourism
    tourism for Galway City and County                            receipts and 22% of the domestic market

    Co-ordination  of  existing   baseline                        The average length of stay in the West
    geographical and sectoral information,                        is approximately 5.3 nights, compared
                                                                  to the National average of 7.9 nights
1
  The Galway City and County Development Boards were
established in early 2000 to promote greater integration          The majority of visitors to Galway are
of service delivery at local level. Each Board comprises          Irish (34%), with British (17%), followed
representation drawn from the Local Government, Local             by the USA (15%). Both Northern Ireland
Development, Social Partners and Statutory Sectors.




                                                           2
                               Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


   and Germany represent 8% of the market            4.3       PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
   (1997 figures)
                                                        ‘Flagship’   Attraction   or    series            of
   Galway is primarily a holiday destination.           Attractions
   Visitors stay on average 3.5 nights in               Development through Clusters
   Galway, as compared with 5.1 nights in               Indoor and all-weather Attractions
   Dublin                                               Water-based Tourism
                                                        New Innovative Ideas
   Research findings indicate that Galway’s             Education-based Development
   greatest assets are its scenery and the              Conference and Convention Facilities
   friendliness of its people combined with             Festivals and Events
   their hospitality                                    Sports and Recreation
                                                        Planning Issues
   The most dominant complaints regarding
   Galway City and County concern the                4.4       SERVICING THE VISITOR
   physical environment and in particular
   traffic, parking, sign posting, roads and            Sources of Satisfaction / Dissatisfaction
   litter.                                              Value for Money
                                                        People – Hospitality and Friendliness
                                                        Availability of Information
 4. KEY CHALLENGES FACING                               Standards of Excellence – Quality
                                                        Training
           GALWAY                                       Proposed Public Health (Tobacco) Act
                                                        2002

Following an identification of the current
situation of tourism in Galway, the main
challenges facing the County were evident.             “Emphasis must be placed on promoting the
These challenges were categorised into four            County as a whole and working together to
main areas forming the foundation on which             do so”
the Framework for Action (as laid out in
                                                           - Siubhán Nic Grianna, Gaelsaoire, Údarás na
Section 5) is built. Responding to these
                                                           Gaeltachta, February 2003.
challenges represents an ideal opportunity for
various sectors within Galway to work
together to achieve a common goal.

Key challenges include:
                                                     4.5       SWOT ANALYSIS
4.1    MARKETING
                                                     This analysis forms the basis for Our
   Funding                                           Framework for Action and represents all
   Lack of Co-ordination                             research, both primary and secondary,
   Low Occupancy Rates                               conducted for the purpose of the Framework.
   Changing Market Trends                            Key     Weaknesses     and    Opportunities
   Potential of developments in Information          identified underline the way forward, while
   Communication Technology (ICT) Arena              continuing to build upon our key Strengths.
                                                     External Threats must be identified and
4.2    ACCESS                                        appropriate strategic measures must be taken
                                                     in order to minimise their adverse effect on
   Direct International Air Access                   Galway’s tourism industry.
   Access to and from International Airports
   Rail Transport
   Road Access to and within Galway
   Access to the Countryside
   Signposting
   Traffic Congestion




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                                 Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


4.6      OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE                     1.4      To promote a choice of value for money
                                                             and all-weather attractions in Galway
   ‘To further develop Galway as a                           aimed at extending the tourism season
vibrantly unique destination centred
on its cultural identity and built on a                ACTION AREA 2 - ACCESS
    foundation of co-operation and
                                                       Long and short term objectives aimed at
             integration”
                                                       improving access to and within Galway
                                                       address each of the issues set out below;
Our Vision emphasises the strengths of the
Galway tourism product, such as its                    2.1       To facilitate increased international
uniqueness and cultural heritage and                         and domestic air access to the West and
identifies these strengths as the means to                   enhance transport links to key tourism
ultimately achieving increased tourism yield                 locations within Galway
for all stakeholders. The vision also highlights
the need for a sustainable approach to                 2.2       To work in partnership with relevant
tourism development in Galway in order to                    authorities to provide additional rail
preserve and further enhance the natural                     infrastructure and services to the West via
amenities Galway has to offer.                               the Western Rail Corridor and services
                                                             along the Galway to Dublin route
The integrated and consultative nature
through which this Framework for Action was            2.3       To integrate tourism needs and
developed dovetails the ethos of the Galway                  objectives in road infrastructure planning
City and County Tourism Committee. It is                     and other strategic planning processes for
through this process of increased integration                Galway City and County
and co-ordination that a number of key
objectives and actions, as laid out in the             ACTION AREA 3 – PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Framework for Action (Section 5) will be
achieved.                                              Long and short-term objectives aimed at
                                                       promoting   sustainability   and     cultural
                                                       development of our product base include:
 5. REALISING OUR VISION –
                                                       3.1        To co-ordinate public, private and
OUR FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION                                     community resources to create a National
                                                             ‘flagship’ attraction or series of attractions
                                                             for Galway City and County
Following analysis of the current situation in
terms of International, National and Regional          3.2       To provide visitors and residents with
tourism    trends    and    performance,     a               a choice of quality special interest products
Framework for Action was developed involving                 based on our natural and cultural
discussion and consultation with all key                     resources
stakeholders. This Framework identifies the
following four success factors as critical to          3.3       To establish Galway as a leading
the achievement of the group’s Vision:                       National   and   European    waterbased
                                                             activity destination through targeted
ACTION AREA 1 - MARKETING                                    investment throughout Galway

Key overall objectives aimed at developing             ACTION AREA 4 - SERVICING THE VISITOR
marketing activities in Galway include:
                                                       Actions aimed at maximising tourism
1.1      To promote Galway’s existing product          satisfaction rates whilst visiting Galway
      base through increased co-ordination             include:

1.2       To    increase  year-round     tourism       4.1      To     nurture    and    maximise   the
      dispersal and average length of stay                   hospitality and friendliness of Galway, its
                                                             people, products and services
1.3       To undertake regular market research
      aimed at matching Galway’s product with
      relevant market demands



                                                   4
                                   Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


4.2       To achieve standards of excellence in          In essence, the Committee’s success over time
      service provision via inter-sectoral co-           will be measured by reference to the key
      operation and co-ordination                        outputs outlined below:

4.3       To further develop Galway as a ‘value
      for money destination’                                  Increased level of tourist numbers
                                                              and revenue
4.4       To promote and develop Galway as a
      distinctive, unique, cultural destination by            Extended average length of stay and
      emphasising its Irish Celtic tradition                  increases in off-peak tourism
                                                              Degree of tourism dispersal
The Framework recommends a number of                          throughout the County
strategic actions aimed at achieving its
Vision. Central to all recommendations and                    Level of co-operation and co-
actions outlined in this Framework is the                     ordination between partners with
focus on economic, social, cultural and                       tourism interests in Galway & the
environmental sustainability. In each case                    Region
Lead Partner(s) and Indicative Support                        Identification and development of
Agencies have been identified. The agreed                     new markets
role for lead partners is to oversee the
implementation       of    assigned  actions;                 Quality of service provision
supported by the indicative support agencies                  throughout Galway
as specified for each action.                                 Number, quality and variety of
                                                              sustainable tourism products


        6. IMPLEMENTING OUR
       FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION

This Framework emphasises the importance
of increasing countywide and regional
integration between relevant stakeholders, in
order to ensure that Galway will be able to
compete in the changing and increasingly
challenging tourism market it now faces. The
Galway City and County Tourism Committee
chaired by Ireland West Tourism draws
together these stakeholders. The Committee
will play a key role in co-ordinating the
implementation of this Framework for Action.

The objectives and actions laid out in this
Framework have clearly identified Lead
Partners each responsible for overseeing the
implementation of actions. Working to
support this process, the Galway City and
County Tourism Committee will provide
ongoing co-ordination and act as a
mechanism for reviewing progress. Overall
performance monitoring will be undertaken
by the Galway City and County Development
Boards (CDB’s). In addition, it is noteworthy
that the Galway City and County Tourism
Committee intends to regularly monitor and
evaluate actions as outlined in the respective
CDB Strategies.




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Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




                6
      Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




2.



 BACKGROUND TO OUR
FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION




                      7
                                      Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


                                                                 consequences an outbreak poses to the travel
      2. BACKGROUND TO OUR                                       and tourism industry.
      FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION
                                                                 Galway’s highest spending market North
Tourism has become one of Ireland’s most                         America, has experienced the most significant
important industries and is a significant                        decline since September 11th. Having already
contributor to the Country’s economic growth.                    declined by more than 20% since 2000, there is
                                                                 justifiable concern that the American market
In 2002, overseas tourist visits to Ireland                      will not grow in 2003 and may decline even
increased by 1% to 5.9 million. Tourist                          further. This is significant for Irish tourism
numbers from both Britain and Mainland                           and for Galway. Even if Galway can increase or
Europe grew by 3% whilst visitors from North                     maintain its share of the domestic and British
America fell by 7% on the previous year.                         market, this will still not compensate for the
Visitors from other long haul markets                            loss of earnings from the US market. In recent
decreased by 6%.2                                                years the average length of stay in Ireland by
                                                                 British visitors was approximately 5.6 days,
In 2002, out-of-state tourist expenditure,                       compared with 9.6 days for US visitors. In
including spending by visitors from Northern                     1997, the average spend by a British visitor in
Ireland, amounted to €3.25 billion. With a                       Ireland was €363, compared to €793 spent by a
further expenditure of         €718 million by                   US visitor4.
overseas visitors on fares to Irish carriers and
€17.3 million spent by overseas resident same-                   Changes in buyer behaviour are also shaping
day visitors, total foreign exchange earnings in                 the way in which tourists’ holiday and several
2002 were €3.9 billion. Domestic tourism                         new trends have emerged, namely shorter
revenue amounted to €961.2 million making                        breaks and closer to home destinations. The
tourism in total a €4.9 billion industry in                      tourist market is increasingly ‘cash rich and
2002.3 This is a drop of approximately €3                        time poor’. Distance is now measured in time
million on 2001.                                                 and      Galway’s      access     infrastructure,
                                                                 particularly air, will have a significant impact
However, not all areas have maintained                           on the level of tourists the County will be able
revenue levels or experienced growth over the                    to attract.
last 12 months and many destinations within
Ireland, including Galway are still trading                      The intensity of global competition during this
below the peak of 2000. There are many                           time of economic uncertainty has resulted in
reasons for this.                                                tourists becoming increasingly price sensitive.
                                                                 The independent study, ‘The Impact of the
Towards the third quarter of 2001, just as the                   Tourist Industry on the Irish Economy’,
negative affects of Foot and Mouth Disease                       published by the International Tourist Industry
(FMD) appeared to be easing, worldwide                           Confederation (ITIC) in October 2002, clearly
tourism suffered an unprecedented shock with                     showed that Ireland has suffered deteriorating
the terrorist attacks of September 11th. The                     price competitiveness since 2000, with tourism
subsequent political uncertainty that followed                   one of the worst affected sectors.
has further impacted detrimentally on Ireland’s
overseas markets. Other terrorist incidents                      “Ireland’s share of international tourism
such as the Bali bombings in October 2002                        markets will be determined ultimately by
have also affected international tourism.                        its competitiveness. Overall competitiveness
                                                                 comprises many components including
In early 2003, the emergence of Severe Acute                     domestic prices, access costs, product
Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has again                            availability, product quality and service
highlighted the vulnerability of the tourism                     quality”5
industry to factors outside of its control. At this
time international tourism and travel has not                    This statement emphasises the need for
been greatly affected but, the threat has                        various stakeholders to integrate across a
reminded us once again of the potential                          diverse range of activities within the local

                                                                 4 Galway Tourism Research Report 1997 – GMIT/Galway

                                                                 Chamber of Commerce
2 Bórd Fáilte Preliminary Tourism Facts 2002, released May       5 ‘The Impact of Tourism on the Irish Economy – The need

2003                                                             for a Future Development Strategy’
3 See1                                                           Irish Tourism Industry Confederation - October 2002.




                                                             8
                                Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


economy to ensure that the overall tourism
                                                       FIGURE 1 MEMBERSHIP OF THE GALWAY CITY &
product within Ireland and within Galway,
                                                       COUNTY TOURISM COMMITTEE
remains price competitive.
                                                                 Name                       Organisation
Galway’s natural physical beauty as well as its
unique cultural heritage has made it a popular         Mr. Brian Flynn (chair)       Ireland West Tourism
tourist destination for many years. However in         Ms. Ann Melia                 Ireland West Tourism
an ever-changing and highly competitive                Mrs. Mary Bennett             Food, Drink, Other Business
environment, Galway must increasingly try to                                         Commercial & other Tourism
secure its share of the tourist market. This                                         Related Organisations
reinforces the need to plan for the future in a        Mr John F. Bourke / Mr        Hotels/Guesthouses
manner that can be sustained over time. By             Brian Hughes
working together and increasing the co-                Mr Adrian Cummins             Self Catering
ordination     between     various     agencies        Mrs. Mary Scott-Furey         Farmhouses
throughout Galway, the County has a better             Mr Gerry McCloskey            Tourist Attractions, Products &
chance of competing successfully and securing                                        Transport Facilities
its share of tourist numbers for the period            Mrs Mary Noone / Mrs.         Town      &    Country    Homes
2003-2012.                                             Patricia Greaney              Association
                                                       Mr John Ryan                  Irish Hotels Federation
2.1  GALWAY CITY AND COUNTY TOURISM                    Cllr. Pat O’Sullivan, Mayor   Galway County Council
COMMITTEE                                              Cllr Josie Conneely           Galway County Council
                                                       Mr. Frank Dawson              Galway County Council
In order to ensure that Galway would be able to        Mr Donal O’Donoghue           Galway County Council
compete successfully in line with the current
                                                       Mr. Ciarán Hayes              Galway City Council
challenges facing the tourism industry, the
                                                       Mr John Tierney               Galway City Council
Galway City and County Development Boards
                                                       Cllr. Martin Quinn            Galway City Council
recognised the need to undertake a more
                                                       Cllr. Johnny Walsh            Ballinasloe U.D.C.
sustainable approach to the development of
tourism in the County.                                 Mr. Eamon Kealy               Galway Rural Development
                                                                                     Company Ltd.
The Galway City and County Tourism                     Mr Sean Clasby                Galway Rural Tourism Co-
                                                                                     operative
Committee represents an amalgamation (firstly
for the purposes of this Framework) of the             Ms. Josephine De Courcey      Connemara Tourism
Galway City and County Tourism Group which             Ms. Karen Smith               Galway East Tourism
was established in June 2002 under the                 Ms. Bríd Ní Chonghóile,       Galway City Community Forum
auspices of the City and County Development            Uas.
Boards respectively and secondly the County            Mr. Brendan Smith             Galway City Community Forum
Tourism     Committee.     Collectively,    the                                      Representative
Committee is responsible for overseeing the            Mr. John Joe Conwell          Galway   County    Community
                                                                                     Forum Representative
implementation of strategic actions relating to
Tourism Development in Galway City and                 Dr. Aidan Daly    / Ms.       NUI, Galway
                                                       Anne Duggan
County as laid out this Framework for Action,
under chairmanship of Ireland West Tourism.            Dr. Stuart Jauncey            Galway Mayo Institute of
                                                                                     Technology
                                                       Mr. Danny Goldrick            Western Regional Fisheries
The Galway City and County Tourism
                                                                                     Board
Committee comprises representation drawn
                                                       Ms. Siubhán Nic Grianna,      Údarás na Gaeltachta
from the tourism industry, Local Government
                                                       Uas.                          (Gaelsaoire)
Local Development, Statutory and the Social
                                                       Mr Brendan Heneghan           Teagasc
Partnership sectors as outlined in Figure 1. The
Committee will consider additional membership          Mr. Alan Hill                 Western Development
                                                                                     Commission – Western
where key gaps are identified.
                                                                                     Development Tourism
                                                                                     Programme
                                                       Sergeant Peadar Ryan          An Garda Síochána
                                                       Mr. Myles McHugh              Iarnród Éireann
                                                       Mr. Peter O'Mara              Galway Airport
                                                       New Member Pending            Business Sector Rep.
                                                       Mr. Jim Woolley               Bus Éireann




                                                   9
                                Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


2.2    AIMS AND OBJECTIVES                              2.3    RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Stemming from the ethos of the Development              Figure 2 as outlined on the following page
Boards, the Galway City and County                      illustrates the critical stages involved in
Tourism Committee recognised the need to                developing this Framework for Action.
co-ordinate existing information, plans and
strategies relevant to tourism development              Commencing with desk research involving
in Galway City and County. Within this                  analysis of all relevant policy documents and
context, the Committee identified the need to           strategies, this phase concluded with an
produce a City and County Framework for                 Interim Industry Analysis Report, which was
Action for the period 2003-2012, which                  presented to the Galway City and County
incorporated a Tourism Development Plan                 Tourism Committee.
and a Marketing Plan.
                                                        Shortly thereafter, detailed interviews took
The key objectives for this Framework were              place with all key stakeholders, serving to
that all recommendations should be co-                  identify the critical areas requiring attention in
ordinated and sustainable over time. Central to         order to promote more effectively tourism
all recommendations and actions laid out in             development in Galway.
the Framework is the focus on economic,
social,     cultural   and       environmental          On completion of this interview stage, intense
sustainability. The concept of sustainable              brainstorming, discussions and analysis of the
tourism is one that provides a high quality             findings took place amongst the members of
product based on and in harmony with, a high            the Galway City and County Tourism
quality natural environment. It minimises               Committee. Over several sessions, members of
adverse impacts on local communities, built             the Committee prioritised their key themes,
heritage, landscapes, habitats and species              objectives, actions, outputs/outcomes and
while    supporting  social   and     economic          timeframe. At this stage of the process, the
prosperity.                                             most appropriate Lead Partners and Indicative
                                                        Support Agencies were also outlined and
Critically, the effectiveness of the Committee’s        identified.
work over time will be assessed by reference to
a number of key outputs/outcomes, which                 A draft copy of the initial Framework for Action
underpin all objectives and actions. These              was then circulated to all additional
outputs/outcomes include:                               stakeholders (See Appendix 1) for their input,
                                                        comments and recommendations. On foot of
                                                        submissions received the Framework was
      Increased level of tourist numbers                refined and modified, yielding the final
      and revenue                                       document– ‘Developing Sustainable Tourism in
                                                        Galway – A Framework for Action’ for
      Extended average length of stay and
                                                        presentation. Both the Galway City and County
      increases in off-peak tourism
                                                        Development Boards ratified this Framework in
      Degree of tourism dispersal                       June 2003.
      throughout the County
                                                        Further support was given to this Framework
      Level of co-operation and co-
                                                        with its launch in July 2003 by the Minister for
      ordination between partners with
                                                        Arts, Sport and Tourism, Mr. John O’
      tourism interests in Galway & the
                                                        Donoghue TD in Galway.
      Region
      Identification and development of
      new markets
      Quality of service provision
      throughout Galway
      Number, quality and variety of
      sustainable tourism products




                                                   10
                           Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


FIGURE 2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

NOV 02
                                                         Regional & County Analysis
                      Desk Research
                                                         Galway’s Current Situation
                                                         Our Vision

JAN 03



                   INTERIM INDUSTRY                            INTERVIEWS WITH
                       ANALYSIS                               MEMBERS OF GALWAY
                                                                CITY & COUNTY
MARCH 03                                                          COMMITTEE




                KEY THEMES IDENTIFIED                                 OBJECTIVES
                                                                       ACTIONS
                                                                       OUTPUTS

APRIL 03


                   DRAFT FRAMEWORK
                                                        Submissions
                                                         Received

MAY 03
                      LEAD & SUPPORT
                         PARTNERS                      STAKEHOLDER
                                                       CONSULTATION

JUNE 03
                DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE
                  TOURISM IN GALWAY                     Confirmation of
                                                           Actions
               – A FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION
JULY 03


                                           11
Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




                12
      Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




3.



   DEVELOPING OUR
FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION




                      13
                                    Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


                                                            home and less expensive destinations. This has
       3. DEVELOPING OUR                                    significant implications for Ireland due to its
     FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION                                   island status. Mainland Europe has now
                                                            become one of its main competitors, as it
                                                            allows tourists to travel from country to
                                                            country by land. It is estimated that one in five
3.1 THE CURRENT SITUATION
                                                            Europeans travel within the Union each year.
In order to attain a realistic picture of the
                                                            In recent years other changes          in   travel
current situation in Galway, it was first
                                                            behaviour have also emerged.
necessary to look beyond the County to what
was happening on an International, National
                                                            Due to the nature of the September 11th
and Regional level.
                                                            attacks    international    aviation   suffered
                                                            dramatically and resulted in fears of air travel
The following analysis looks at internal and
                                                            and stringent security checks. Gradually
external events that have shaped the Irish
                                                            confidence in air travel has been restored and
tourism industry over recent years and how
                                                            the popularity of low cost air travel has
this in turn has affected tourism in Galway. An
                                                            excelled.   This has further facilitated the
overview of Galway, based on the most recent
                                                            popularity of a late booking trend and shorter,
available data, is provided including the
                                                            more frequent breaks.
various micro-destinations that exist within it.
                                                            Urged by the need for speed when booking and
Overall this analysis aims to capture the
                                                            taking holidays, the popularity of the Internet
current status of tourism in Galway.
                                                            has dramatically increased. This medium
                                                            allows holidaymakers to book late and choose
3.2 INTERNATIONAL TOURISM                                   from a vast amount of destinations available
                                                            online. This trend has created new challenges
                                                            requiring strong product differentiation from
    “The biggest problem in the current                     the mass ‘clutter’ that exists online.
    situation    of world  tourism   is
    uncertainty”                                            At this stage in 2003, it is yet unknown if the
                                                            war in Iraq will have an affect on Ireland’s main
     - Mr. Grangialli, WTO Secretary General, News          source markets - Britain and America - for the
    Release Office, March 21st 2003                         2003/2004 season. Aggressive promotional
                                                            campaigns have been launched in these target
                                                            markets to encourage increased travel to
                                                            Ireland. Only time will indicate if Ireland is on
Within the EU, the tourist industry accounts                its way to rebuilding the phenomenal success it
for 5.5% of Gross Domestic Product and a third              enjoyed up until 2001. Following the Gulf War
of service exports. Tourism directly employs                of 1990, it took three years for world tourism
over 10 million people and represents                       numbers to be restored to previous levels.
approximately 6% of total employment.                       However, the World Tourism Organisation is
                                                            remaining positive, stating that the following
According to data released in June 2002 by the              the war in Iraq tourism growth may be
World Tourism Organisation, International                   postponed but it will not cause its collapse.
tourist arrival numbers reached 693 million in
2001 (-0.6% compared to 2000) amounting to 4
million people less than the 697 million visitors
                                                               Online travel sales in Europe for 2002
in 20006. This can be attributed to the
                                                               were worth €7.3 billion, or 3.5% of the
weakening economies of major tourism
                                                               tourism and travel market
generating markets and the impact of the
terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001.                       - (European figures) Centre for Regional and
                                                               Tourism Research, March 18th, 2003
The World Tourism Organisation also reported
a shift in tourism travel habits during this
period of time, notably the increase in closer to

6 World Tourism Organisation - World Tourism Figures
released June 2002




                                                       14
                                      Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


3.3 IRISH TOURISM                                                 According to the same CERT survey, 97% of
                                                                  respondents said they would recommend
In 2002, overseas tourist visits to the Republic                  Ireland as a holiday destination. Eighty-six
of Ireland increased by 1% to 5.9 million.                        percent of those surveyed rated their overall
Tourist numbers from both Britain and                             satisfaction with their Irish holiday a 6 or 7 on
Mainland Europe grew by 3% while the North                        a seven point rating scale. Customer service
American fell by 7% on the previous year7. The                    was also highly rated with 81% of
Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) cited a 20%                         holidaymakers satisfied with the level of
reduction in direct airline routes to Ireland                     customer service they received in their
from North America as a contributory factor in                    accommodation.
the 50,000 fewer arrivals from the market in
2002. In 2003, this situation has been rectified                  Some aspects of the Irish holiday experience
with Aer Lingus re-launching the Baltimore to                     however, received relatively low satisfaction
Shannon/Dublin route and US Airways                               ratings. Value for money and menu variety
introducing new routes from Philadelphia to                       were the two biggest causes of dissatisfaction
Shannon and Dublin.                                               across the board, and varied according to the
                                                                  type of dining experience and nationality of the
Visitors from other long haul markets                             visitor. German tourists in particular, were
decreased by 6%.8 In 2002, total foreign                          unhappy with the price of dining out while
exchange earnings to Ireland reached €3.9                         French and Italians were most dissatisfied with
billion. Domestic tourism amounted to €961.2                      the menu variety and food quality.
million making tourism in total a €4.9 billion
industry in 2002.9 This is a drop of                              Figures released in CERT’s 2002 Review and
approximately € 0.3 million on 2001.                              Outlook12 indicates that tourism businesses
                                                                  are reasonably optimistic regarding their
The buoyancy of the home market in 2001                           prospects for the medium term. Thirty-nine
cushioned the damage to the industry caused                       percent of hoteliers and twenty-eight percent of
in 2001. This market has now become                               restaurant owners perceived their prospects to
increasingly competitive due to the increased                     be very good for 2003.
promotion and price attractiveness of outbound
travel. Irish revenue from domestic trips                         In 2002, Fáilte Ireland13 set a target growth
decreased from €1.26 million in 2001 to                           rate of 5% in overseas visitor numbers for
€961,000 in 2002.10                                               2003. They have also estimated that visitors
                                                                  from North America are unlikely to approach
Due to its close proximity, Britain remains a                     2000 levels until 2004. Fáilte Ireland’s budget
valuable market for Ireland. The weakness of                      priorities in 2003 include maintenance of the
the Euro against Sterling has increased                           Ireland market spend and maintenance of up-
Ireland’s popularity as a holiday destination for                 front, overseas marketing activities in support
the British market with the Euro currently                        of destination Ireland14.
trading at £0.70 Sterling (June 11th 2003).
Tourist numbers from Britain rose by 3% in                        With the focus of holidaying shifting towards
2002. Every effort must be made to ensure that                    short breaks and ease of accessibility,
this figure continues to grow in an environment                   destinations within Ireland which have good air
of increasing domestic and international                          and land access are expected to be the winners
competition.                                                      in 2003/2004.

According to a recent survey conducted by
CERT11, the Tourism-Training Agency, Ireland’s
traditional selling points continue to be its key
strengths,      with     scenery     and      the
friendliness/humour of the Irish people
remaining the main reasons for recommending
Ireland to a friend.

7 Bórd Fáilte Preliminary Tourism Facts 2002, released May

2003                                                              12CERT 2002 Review and Outlook, launched January 2003
8 See 3                                                           13 Bórd Fáilte merged with CERT in May 2003 to become
9 See 3                                                           Fáilte Ireland.
10 See 3                                                          14 Bórd Fáilte Annual Review 2002 & Outlook 2003,
11 CERT Hospitality Survey 2002                                   released January 2002




                                                             15
                                                                         Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


3.4 THE WEST REGION – GALWAY, MAYO AND                                                                            Its close proximity to Britain (Ireland’s main
ROSCOMMON                                                                                                         market) and to Mainland Europe makes
                                                                                                                  Dublin the obvious choice for tourists
In 2002 the West Region, as a whole,                                                                              visiting Ireland
accounted for approximately 15% of National
overseas tourism receipts, representing third                                                                The average length of stay in the West is 5.3
place after Dublin and the South West.15                                                                     nights, compared with the National Average of
                                                                                                             7.9 nights. However it is likely that the average
     4500                                   N u m b e r s (0 0 0 's)             R e v e n u e (€ m )        length of stay for more rural areas within the
     4000                                                                                                    West is significantly lower.
     3500
     3000                                                                                                    Occupancy rates and tourist numbers vary
     2500                                                                                                    significantly throughout the West. This has
     2000
                                                                                                             reinforced the need to increase the degree of
     1500
                                                                                                             tourism dispersal throughout the Region.
     1000
                                                                                                             In order to extend the length of stay in the
      500
                                                                                                             West, there exists a need to co-operatively
        0
                                                                                                             market the Western Seaboard as a whole, to
                     Midlands East




                                                               Shannon
                                     South-East




                                                                                 North-West
                                                                          West
                                                  South-West
            Dublin




                                                                                                             encourage visitors to see more and stay longer
                                                                                                             in the region. The Western Development
                                                                                                             Commission, various Leader companies and
                                                                                                             Ireland West Tourism have recently adopted
                                                                                                             this concept. Together they have entered into a
                                                                                                             joint initiative involving the publication of a
FIGURE 3 WEST REGION NUMBERS & REVENUE
                                                                                                             brochure – Ireland’s Western Regions, which
2002
                                                                                                             co-operatively promotes the Counties along the
                                                                                                             Western Seaboard. This joint initiative
As is illustrated in Figure 3, the West Region                                                               represents a positive step towards increased
lies significantly below Dublin, in terms of                                                                 integration throughout the West.
capturing its share of overseas visitors. This
highlights the uneven spread of tourism                                                                      Similarly, there exists a need to examine other
between the East and the West of the country.                                                                regions within Ireland to determine the length
There are several likely reasons for this trend:                                                             of stay in other counties and ascertain how
                                                                                                             improvements could be applied to the West.
     Dublin is the capital City of Ireland and is
     therefore more likely to attract higher                                                                 A recent trend highlighted by Mr. John
     numbers of tourists                                                                                     Leonard, Shannon Development at the
                                                                                                             Sustainable Tourism Development in the
     Dublin has been steadily marketed                                                                       Western Region conference in Kiltimagh, Co.
     overseas for a number of years and has a                                                                Mayo16 supports the importance of an effective
     well established tourism base, recognised                                                               regional airport and good road and rail
     world-wide                                                                                              infrastructure from Shannon to the West. It
                                                                                                             was found that of all overseas tourists entering
     The capital has a wide range of                                                                         Ireland via Shannon, who listed the Shannon
     accommodation types and activities for                                                                  region as the primary region for their visit, 50%
     tourists and can sustain a prolonged period                                                             of visitors travelled South whilst 37% travelled
     of stay                                                                                                 to the West.17

     Many tourists fly directly to Dublin and                                                                This trend becomes significant when compared
     therefore are more likely to stay in the                                                                to another trend, which found that of all
     region. This may be due in part to limited                                                              overseas tourists entering Ireland via the
     capacity and a lack of awareness of regional                                                            West (i.e. either Galway or Knock), who listed
     airports                                                                                                the West as the primary region for their visit,

                                                                                                             16
                                                                                                                Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in the
                                                                                                             Western Region Kiltimagh, - Western Development Tourism
                                                                                                             Programme, October 21st 2002
15Bórd Fáilte Preliminary Tourism Facts 2002, released                                                       Presentation by John Leonard - Shannon Development
May 2003                                                                                                     17 Conference As Above




                                                                                                        16
                                         Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


75% travel to the South and South West                        3.5      GALWAY
combined, while only 16% carry on to the
North West.18                                                 Galway has always been an attractive
                                                              destination for tourists. Today it combines a
The significance of this to Galway is that, if                vibrant City with a scenic countryside that
areas North of Galway City and areas which                    offers the tourist a wide range of activities
border the North West are to increase their                   including high quality coastal amenities.
level of tourism activity, there is a need to
clearly    identify    why      tourists    travel
predominately South when they enter the West.
Access, road infrastructure and marketing are
likely to be key issues. This trend also                           “… greatest tourist attraction by far is still
reinforces the importance of the International                     the appeal of the natural physical beauty….”
Airport located at Knock and the significance of
good     road    infrastructure    to    continue                   - Mr. Brendan Smith, Galway City Community
                                                                   Forum, May 2003.
encouraging visitors to travel South when
arriving into Knock.

In terms of domestic tourism, the West has a
22% market share19 (up 4% on 2001) and lies
in second position behind the South West. The                 Galway can be examined from an urban and
majority of visitors to the West come from                    rural perspective.
Dublin followed by the greater Leinster area at
19%, Connaught/Ulster at 26% and Munster                      As one of the fastest growing cities in Europe,
at 21%20.                                                     Galway is the designated regional gateway for
                                                              the West of Ireland. It is also the third most
These figures highlight the potential for                     populated Irish City; the present population is
attracting domestic tourism from regions                      approximately 65,774 people and expected to
within Ireland that currently do not visit the                expand to 68,000 by 200421.
West to a great extent. Maximising numbers
and revenue from the domestic market is                       The main form of access to Galway City and
essential given the present environment of the                County is road. The average bus service
international market.                                         includes regular daily services to all cities
                                                              within Ireland. Bus Éireann also provides daily
In conclusion, within Ireland, the West lies in               an hourly service from Galway to Dublin
third position in terms of overseas numbers
and revenue, in second position in terms of                   The rail service features, on average, 5 daily
domestic numbers and revenue and its average                  journeys to and from Dublin. This has greatly
length of stay is behind that of the National                 contributed to the overall accessibility of the
average. If the West and particularly, more                   County, for both locals and tourists alike. In
rural areas within the West, are to maintain                  2002, in excess of 1.25 million passengers used
and extend their market share there is a need                 the Galway to Dublin route and passenger
understand why tourists travel predominantly                  numbers have grown by some 25% since the
South when they enter the West. If areas                      track-relaying programme was completed in
North/North West of Galway City are to                        1999.
increase tourism yield, greater dispersal of
tourism and increased length of stay in these                 Air access is provided by Galway airport, which
areas must be a priority.                                     presently operates flights to Dublin (5 daily),
                                                              London (Luton - 1 daily) and as of June 2003
                                                              one daily flight to Manchester. Aer Arann
                                                              Express operates all services. In addition, an
                                                              average of 17 daily flights serve the Árainn
                                                              Islands in Summer. These services are
                                                              invaluable in terms of providing both business
                                                              and leisure travellers with direct access into
                                                              Galway.

18   See11                                                    21 ‘Central Statistics Office Preliminary Census 2002
19   Bórd Fáilte Preliminary Tourism Facts 2002               Results – Principal Statistics Demography and Labour
20   Bórd Fáilte Tourism Facts 2001                           Force




                                                         17
                                    Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Capacity at Galway airport is limited and the                 Visitors to Galway stay on average 3.5 days
potential to expand services remains uncertain.               and this is made up of two main ‘peaks’: 2-day
The Galway Air Services Strategy Group (GASS)                 weekend stays, which are mostly Irish and 7-
was established in early 2003 and is chaired by               day stays. At present Galway is not benefiting
the Galway Chamber of Commerce and                            from the UK and Europe ‘short break’ overseas
Industry to promote the long-term development                 market to the same extent as the East Coast.
of the airport. This group comprises key leaders
from local government, education, tourism,                    The Galway Tourism Research Report 1997
enterprise development, health and air service                also found that the majority of tourists travel
and aims to develop a strategic plan for air                  with their partner or other adult group (66%),
services in Galway over the next five to fifteen              while families with children represented 13%.
years.                                                        At present, Galway is not a strong family
                                                              destination but predominantly an adult /
Subject to seasonal variations, three companies               couples destination. Tourists belong mostly to
provide on average, 7 daily ferry services to the             the socio-economic group C1 – lower middle
Árainn Islands. Inishbofin is connected daily by              class with supervisory or clerical / junior
ferry to Cleggan.                                             management positions. Galway attracts a
                                                              strong segment of the dependent market
Profile of Tourists                                           consisting of students and retired persons
                                                              (19%). Interestingly, while Galway is perceived
Limited information exists when profiling                     to be a ‘young peoples’ destination (i.e. the
visitors to Galway City; the Galway Tourism                   under 20’s market), the majority of visitors are
Research Report 199722 presents the most                      between 25 and 54 years old.
recent detailed profile of visitors.
                                                              The main area for tourism expenditure is
This report identified that the majority of                   accommodation with 48% of total spending
visitors to Galway are Irish (34%), with British              taking place in this sector. Expenditure in
(17%), followed by the USA (15%). Both                        restaurants and snack food outlets represent
Northern Ireland and Germany represented 8%                   22% while pubs absorb 9%. As expected,
of the market.                                                tourists visiting the more expensive hotels
                                                              spend more per day. Self-catering visitors tend
The majority of tourists learn about Galway                   to spend the least.
firstly through relatives and friends and
secondly through with Bórd Fáilte (now Fáilte                 During their visit, tourists take part in a
Ireland), followed by a combination of                        number of activities including enjoying the
commercial guidebooks, travel agents and tour                 scenery, walking, and visiting historical sites.
operators. Thus, from the research, it is clear               Pubs are an important part of the visitor’s
that the best marketing for Galway is a                       social activities, as is shopping. Sports and
satisfied customer who in turn promotes the                   festivals are also important activities. Eighty-
County through positive word of mouth. The                    six percent of respondents to the Galway
best commercial sources are Fáilte Ireland,                   Tourism Research Report 1997 stated that
Tourism Ireland literature, guidebooks and                    culture was very important to their visit to
printed materials. Today the Internet would                   Galway. This report also found that in general
feature as another medium of communication                    Galway County attracts a more sedentary type
used by potential visitors to gather information              of tourist that enjoys passive activities.
and book holidays in Galway.                                  Potential exists however, for the development of
                                                              rural activities including hiking, cycling,
Galway is primarily a holiday destination.                    angling and marine activities. Galway also
Arrival to Galway is by car (82%), followed by                lends itself to the possibility of developing a
coach (13%) and train (3%). Galway attracts a                 brand name as a key activity based
strong leisure market. It is dominated by                     destination.
domestic tourism and use of the car as the
main mode of transport. This leads to                            “To create the appropriate atmosphere… the
congestion problems in the peak season.                          cultural ethos proposed must permeate
                                                                 virtually every walk of life.”

                                                                  - Ms. Bríd Ní Chonghoile, Galway City Community
                                                                 Forum, February 2003.
22 ‘Galway Tourism Research Report 1997’ GMIT / Galway

Chamber of Commerce




                                                         18
                                  Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Galway’s greatest assets are its scenery and               much as possible. Instead of staying a full week
the friendliness of its people combined with               the trend is for short breaks, based in the City
their hospitality. The atmosphere in the City              with day visits to rural areas. The result is an
attracts visitors who like to simply absorb the            imbalance between the level and length of
‘ambience’. A strategic opportunity exists for             tourism activity between urban and rural
Galway to emphasise the ‘friendliness of its               areas.
people in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. Hospitality,
combined with the Irish language, can be                   Due to the variety of product that Galway has
offered as Galway’s main competitive advantage             to offer, it is impossible to describe the County
and is not easily imitated by competing                    without looking more closely at the various
destinations. The Irish language should be                 destinations that exist within it.
used to enhance the image of Galway City and
County as a distinctive cultural destination to            Galway City
domestic and overseas markets. The healthy
co-existence of two languages can only add to
                                                           Galway City is now the third largest City in the
the vibrant cultural life within Galway.
                                                           Republic of Ireland after Dublin and Cork. The
                                                           City has experienced phenomenal growth in
The Galway Tourism Research Report 1997
                                                           recent years. Since the mid 1970's, the number
however,      also    identified    sources      of
                                                           of professional arts organisations and regular
dissatisfaction within Galway. Weather has
                                                           scheduled arts events, the level of public
been identified as the major source of
                                                           funding and the extent of infrastructural
dissatisfaction, while recent trends indicate
                                                           support for the arts in the City have gradually
that today prices are also an issue. The most
                                                           and steadily increased. Internationally and
dominant complaints regarding Galway City
                                                           nationally recognised festivals and events such
and County concern the physical environment
                                                           as the Arts Festival, the Oyster Festival and the
and in particular, traffic congestion, the
                                                           Galway Races have greatly added to the
parking, sign posting, condition of roads and
                                                           tourism product that Galway City has to offer.
litter. The continued management and focus on
the physical infrastructure and environment
                                                           Galway City also has the advantage of having
would serve to alleviate these problems and
                                                           one of the largest Gaeltacht areas in the
ultimately result in greater tourist satisfaction.
                                                           Country on its doorstep. The continued
                                                           support of cultural development in Galway City
Hand in hand with maintaining the natural
                                                           is essential, as the tourism product is
and built environment is the importance of
                                                           intrinsically reliant upon it.
safety on Galway’s streets. Clear strategic
actions must be set in place locally and
                                                           In 2001, there were a total of 99 cultural
Nationally to ensure that the streets of Galway
                                                           facilities in Galway City as identified in the
are safe and inviting for tourists.
                                                           Galway City Development Board (CDB) Atlas
                                                           2001. The Galway City Atlas also identified
As a tourist destination Galway enjoys strong
                                                           more than 40 City based tourist attractions23.
customer loyalty. The image of Galway is a
combination of an urban and rural tourism
                                                           In 2001, there were 161 Bórd Fáilte approved
product, both of which complement each other.
                                                           B&B’s in Galway City, with an estimated 480
Galway City is seen as a vibrant City and is
                                                           B&B’s in the City not listed with Bórd Fáilte. In
popular as a weekend destination. The key
                                                           addition,    there    were      47    registered
selling features are the ambience of the City,
                                                           hotels/guesthouses,     9    hostels  and     19
variety of social activities and general pace of
                                                           traditional music public houses in Galway
life. Galway County offers a different product.
                                                           City24.
Scenery is the main selling point, and
renowned areas such as Connemara and the
Árainn Islands have become micro-destinations
within Galway.

In recent years trends in Galway have seen a
growth in urban and a reduction in rural
tourism products. One of the key influences                23 Galway City Atlas 2001 – Galway City Development

on this trend is the fast pace of life                     Board
encountered by tourists. Visits to Galway are              24 Strategy for Economic, Social & Cultural Development

getting shorter as tourists try to ‘pack in’ as            2002-2012 – Galway City Development Board (Tourism
                                                           page 16)




                                                      19
                                Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Galway East                                             faces the Gaeltacht region within Connemara
                                                        and the Islands. Like many areas within
The Galway East area can be defined as one              Galway, certain parts of Connemara have been
that is largely underdeveloped in terms of the          more successful than others when it comes to
benefits of tourist numbers and revenue. To             attracting their share of the tourism market.
date, the tourism product in Galway has largely         This has led to congestion in popular areas and
been focussed in Galway City and the western            lulls in less well-known areas.
parts of the County (i.e. Connemara). The main
factors that have prevented the East’s success          These factors combined have caused the
have been:                                              tourism industry in Connemara to become
                                                        fragmented with businesses and small local
   Lack of awareness among tourists and                 areas competing with each other to attract their
   locals about what Galway East has to                 share of domestic and overseas tourists.
   offer
                                                        The Gaeltacht
   Insufficient tourism products
                                                        The Irish language is one of the strongest
   Poor infrastructural base                            influences on the culture of Galway. This is
                                                        true not only of the Gaeltacht but of the
   Lack of marketing funds and expertise                County as a whole.
At this time, there are approximately 119               The Gaeltacht is the name given to parts of
accommodation providers registered with Fáilte          Ireland where Irish (Gaeilge) can still be heard
Ireland from Galway East. This figure includes          as an everyday community language. In Galway
all types of accommodation from Hotels to               the Gaeltacht represents a large part of
B&B’s, to farmhouses. As can be expected, this          Connemara and pockets of Galway City. The
figure     would   rise    if     unregistered          Gaeltacht is distinct and different because of
accommodation providers were taken into                 the living language and the rich Celtic heritage
consideration.                                          and culture that can be experienced there. Of
                                                        the 7 Gaeltacht regions within Ireland, Galway
Fáilte Ireland funded the establishment of              County and parts of Galway City have the
Galway East Tourism. However, the future of             largest Gaeltacht population, representing 37%
the company is under serious threat. At this            of the National Gaeltacht population. In 2000,
time in 2003, the future funding of ongoing             it was estimated that approximately £22.3
operational costs has as yet been identified.           million (€27.9 million) was generated in
This is a problem experienced by other tourism          revenue by the Galway Gaeltacht region.25
development     companies    within    Galway,
particularly in more rural areas and further            Gaelsaoire, the tourism division within Údarás
investment is essential to address tourism              na Gaeltachta, was established in 1997 to
challenges throughout Galway.                           promote and develop Ireland’s Gaeltacht
                                                        regions (including Galway). Their core objective
West Galway                                             is to develop and brand the Gaeltacht
                                                        nationally and internationally, as a high quality
In general West Galway and Connemara are                holiday destination based on its linguistic and
taken to cover the same geographical area – all         cultural    distinctiveness.   The    Gaelsaoire
areas west of Lough Corrib and Galway City.             Research Project conducted in 200126 revealed
Tourism in Connemara has been successful on             that the majority of visitors to Gaeltacht
many levels to date and in terms of popularity,         regions stayed between 1 and 3 nights. This
this area is considered to be a ‘honey-pot’.            has highlighted the need to move away from
                                                        day visits to the Gaeltacht and to encourage
However, seasonality is a significant threat to         longer stays.
the area and Connemara experiences a short
peak season of approximately 3 months. Even
during the peak summer months, Connemara                25 Gaeltacht Festivals & Events 3 year Strategic Marketing
suffers greatly from a lack of over-night stays.        Plan – Prepared for Gaelsaoire by Tourism Development
City based buses run day trips to Connemara,            International November 2002
thereby not encouraging tourists to take in an          26
                                                           Gaelsaoire Research Project – Prepared for Gaelsaoire by
overnight stay. This is also a problem that             the Tourism Research Centre (Dublin Institute of
                                                        Technology) December 2001




                                                   20
                                Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


This undertaking dovetails with Galway’s                 a few miles away from the mainland, the
overall target of increasing the length of stay          inhabitants of the islands have preserved a
within the County to move closer to the                  distinctive Gaelic culture. The population of the
National average of 7.9 nights.                          Árainn islands is approximately 900 in winter
                                                         rising to about 1,200 in summer. Many tourists
Other problems/issues facing the Gaeltacht               also visit the Islands during the summer. All-
regions, as outlined in the survey include:              year round access by air and sea is available to
                                                         and from the islands.
   Access and infrastructure
                                                         Inis Mór is already established as a major
   Signposting                                           tourist destination with over 100,000 visitors
                                                         per year, mainly day-trippers. Many new
   Availability of information and                       businesses have developed to take advantage of
                                                         this tourism market. The scale of mass tourism
   Emphasis that Gaeltacht areas should                  however, has an impact on the language and
   not become over commercialised as it                  traditions of the island. Key problems now
   would spoil the natural product                       facing Inis Mór and increasingly the smaller
                                                         islands, include:
Again, all of these issues are mirrored
throughout the County as a whole and need to                  Overcrowding/congestion             during      peak
be addressed as a matter of urgency.                          periods

Combined, the Gaeltacht region and the                        Signposting
Islands offer tourists a first-hand introduction
to the Irish language and culture. The language               Perceptions that the island is a day trip
also contributes significantly to the tourism                 destination - during peak times, up to
product that Galway has to offer, and this in                 63% of all visitors are day tours.27
turn adds to Galway’s economic, social and
cultural development.                                         Seasonality is also               a     significant
                                                              problem for the Island.
The incorporation of a bilingual policy into this
Framework for Action serves to protect,                  A major study on the impact of Tourism on Inis
maintain and develop the economic benefits               Mór28 recommended setting up a tourism
that Galway City and County already reaps                management company run by the island’s co-
from the Irish language; enhancing Galway’s              operative. This may provide some mechanism
image as a capital for culture in Ireland.               for the better management of tourism in the
Through the development and promotion of                 future.
this identity, Galway City and County can
advance significantly in economic, social and            Inishbofin is connected daily by ferry to the
cultural terms.                                          small fishing port of Cleggan with a population
                                                         of only 200. Employment and retention of
THE ISLANDS – ÁRAINN & INISHBOFIN                        young people are key issues. The island has a
                                                         Community Development Project, which is
Galway’s four main inhabited offshore Islands,           funded by the Department of Social and Family
the Árainn Islands and Inishbofin have a                 Affairs in recognition of its highly peripheral
combined     population   of   almost    1,500           status.
permanent residents. All of the islands have
registered archaeological monuments and are              In terms of tourism development, Inishbofin
designated as special areas of conservation.             lacks adequate island infrastructure to attract
Tourism, particularly cultural tourism, offers           large tourist numbers. Improvements at
potential for growth on the four islands. The            Cleggan and Inver harbours are essential for
three Irish-speaking islands have long                   the development of services in Inishbofin.
established summer colleges for students
‘Coláistí Gaeilge’ and these provide valuable
income for islanders.
                                                         27 ‘Creating a Sustainable Tourism Strategy for Árainn (Inis
The Árainn Islands form part of Galway’s                 Mór)’ Prepared by Tourism Development International for
                                                         Galway County Council and the Community of the Island
Gaeltacht region and represent a unique                  of Árainn (Inis Mór)
experience for tourists. Although they are just          28 See 22




                                                    21
Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




                22
        Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




4.


     KEY CHALLENGES
     FACING GALWAY




                        23
                                      Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


  4. KEY CHALLENGES FACING                                             4.1 Marketing
           GALWAY
                                                            Funding
Following detailed analysis of available                    Funding remains the key inhibitor when
research and extensive consultation with                    marketing and promoting Galway City and
various stakeholders, a number of critical                  County. The rural areas of Galway lack the
issues have emerged. These issues represent                 necessary resources to have a significant
the gaps, needs and challenges of the Galway                impact on the marketplace. In many cases,
tourism product with issues falling into four               apart from the dedication of the voluntary
main    categories     (culminating    in   the             sector, there are no dedicated marketing
Framework for Action, as laid out in Section 5).            personnel to represent certain areas. This is a
Essentially these four categories include:                  widespread issue throughout Galway and one
                                                            that is in need of immediate attention.

   MARKETING                                                Lack of Co-ordination

                                                            There is a lack of co-ordination and
   ACCESS                                                   exploitation of synergies throughout the
                                                            County when marketing and promoting
                                                            Galway. The result of this has been
                                                            fragmented       market   penetration   costing
   PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
                                                            valuable marketing funds. Weak co-ordination
                                                            and co-operation between the public and
                                                            private sector results in duplication and
   SERVICING THE VISITOR                                    unproductive usage of resources. There exists
                                                            a    significant   opportunity   to   increase
                                                            integration throughout the County, with the
Underpinning all issues relating to Galway is               overall aim of co-operatively marketing Galway
the need for greater tourism dispersal                      in a way which will benefit all stakeholders.
throughout the County. Effective County                     This is the basis on which this Framework for
distribution is essential for increasing the                Action is built.
average length of stay, extending the tourism
season, increasing tourism yields and                       In this time of economic uncertainty and
encouraging new markets to visit Galway City                intense global competition, there is a need to
and County.                                                 maximise the potential Galway has to offer as
                                                            a holiday destination. In the past, marketing
A summary of all issues and challenges facing               efforts throughout the County have tended
Galway    is   outlined  in   a    Strengths,               to be fragmented, with Galway’s various
Weaknesses,     Opportunity   and     Threats               destinations       marketing         themselves
(S.W.O.T) analysis.                                         independently. However such organisations
                                                            are beginning to realise the benefits of a more
                                                            co-ordinated approach. An industry-wide
   “Tourism in Ireland is at a pivotal point in             realisation that there is a need to market
   its development. The factors central to                  Galway as a County, is emerging and has
   our success to date are not necessarily                  resulted in a diverse range of sectors pooling
   the ones to carry us forward into the                    resources and expertise together to achieve a
   future.”                                                 common goal.

                                                            The clear imbalance between the East and
    -  Mr. John O’ Donoghue T.D., Minister for Arts,        West of the Country in terms of tourism
   Sport and Tourism, speaking at the appointment           numbers and revenue is one area that needs
   of Ms. Gillian Bowler as Chair of Fáilte Ireland,        to be tackled through a more co-ordinated
   May 2003.
                                                            approach to marketing. Likewise increased
                                                            dispersal of tourism involving Galway East,
                                                            West and the City can be achieved through
                                                            more targeted marketing campaigns. In this



                                                       24
                                 Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


respect regional marketing is extremely                   into use in an effort to entice people to travel
important to ensure that the West of Ireland              for the 2003/2004 season. This changeable
i.e. the Western Seaboard, can contend with               environment reinforces the need for Galway
both domestic and overseas competition, to                City and County to work together, both
gain their share of the tourist market.                   strategically and resourcefully to ensure that
                                                          the entire County is fully represented on a
Low Occupancy Rates                                       national and international level.

A lack of marketing combined with an                      Information and Communications
insufficient product base for some rural and              Technology (ICT)
Gaeltacht areas within Galway has resulted in
low occupancy rates. This lull in business                As previously identified, Internet advertising
occurs, in particular, during off-peak periods            and promotion has emerged as one of the
and mid-week. Given the short length of the               leading mediums of the twenty-first century,
tourist season in Galway, this represents                 particularly for the travel and tourism market.
average occupancy rates of between 20-40% in              With     the    introduction    of   Broadband
some areas. All-year round marketing is                   infrastructure to Galway, through the
essential to tackle the issue of low occupancy            Galway Metropolitan Ring Project, the
rates during off-peak times. For this to take             technological infrastructure will soon be in
place, Galway must lower its reliance on the              place to facilitate the promotion of Galway
voluntary sector by working to ensure that                more efficiently to a world-wide audience, thus
tourism development companies throughout                  offering all stakeholders an opportunity to
the County receive adequate funding.                      market their services through this new
                                                          medium.       Emphasis on promoting strong
Changing Market Trends                                    uptake of this technology is critical as price is
                                                          directly related to volume of use.
The emergence of the independent, late
booking and short-break tourist market                    With such advanced technology every effort
presents many challenges for Galway. This                 should be made to ensure that all future
type of tourist is increasingly difficult to ‘pin-        online developments are more co-ordinated
down’ and so requires new and innovative                  than they have been in the past, focusing on
targeting techniques. New technologies such               the ultimate aim of time, money and resource
as the Internet, email and text messaging go              savings. There may also be a need to either
some way in reaching this tourist market but              conduct or source research that has been
on a strategic level more is required. In order           carried out on Internet buying behaviour,
to be competitive in an environment of                    particularly for niche products. This would
changing      demands        and       increasing         help Galway to effectively market its special
competition, Galway must consolidate its                  interest products online.
resources and focus its efforts on achieving
maximum market penetration.                               Ireland West Tourism have responded to this
                                                          challenge by investing increased resources in
The shift in overseas market trends has also              2003 to the further development of their
caused the domestic market to become more                 Regional       website     www.irelandwest.ie.
competitive than perhaps it ever has been. The            Furthermore, Ireland West Tourism are to
West Region currently lies in second position             work with Tourism Authorities along the
in terms of domestic visits and Galway must               Western Seaboard to put in place a common
aim to increase this positive trend and ensure            web-page        www.irelandswesternregions.ie,
that it continues to be seen as one of the most           which allows users to travel between Regional
attractive domestic holiday destinations within           sites. In addition, Galway City Council has
Ireland. In times of decreased international              just launched www.galwaybiz.com, which will
travel, it is the domestic market that must be            act as a portal for existing websites, covering
relied upon.                                              all aspects of City life, including tourist
                                                          accommodation        and     attractions.    An
The war in Iraq has been declared over but the            opportunity also exists for a similar site to
future of global political developments remains           cover the County, with direct linkages between
uncertain. Marketing and promotional plans                both    sites.   Furthermore,    the    Western
are beginning to get back on track in an effort           Development Commission has also developed
to adapt to the current situation. It is likely           a    comprehensive     seven-county     regional
that reserves of marketing funds will be put              website www.trueireland.com, which again



                                                     25
                                 Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


could be further linked into the Galway City             schedule at Shannon Airport. This move has
and County websites.                                     been widely welcomed by a variety of tourism
                                                         stakeholders throughout the region. There are
                                                         also tenders being accepted by Knock Airport
                                                         to operate a similar service. All initiatives
              4.2 ACCESS                                 aimed at improving the convenience and
                                                         accessibility of the West, and in particular
                                                         Galway, increase its potential to attract
Given the current climate of economic                    domestic and international tourists.
uncertainty and changing consumer demands,
access is now more than ever one of the key              Recently (June 2003) it has been announced
selling points of all holidays. Today’s tourist          that a new ‘open skies’ policy will see an end
market requires fast, efficient and cost                 to the Shannon stopover. This will allow US
effective access. These changing market                  and EU carriers to fly where they want without
demands have highlighted the need to provide             having to adhere to National agreements, such
safe, direct access to and within Galway.                as    the   stopover    at  Shannon.     These
The imbalance of tourism development                     negotiations could take two to three years to
between the East and West of the Country can             finalise and there are expected to be no major
also be addressed through improved access to             changes to Shannon in that period.
the Western region.
                                                         This decision has received mixed responses. It
International Air Access                                 has caused concern in the Shannon area as
                                                         stakeholders’ fear it will result in a loss of
A significant challenge facing Galway at this            aviation business, but Aer Lingus have
time is to ensure that visitors can travel easily        welcomed it as it opens up the US market. Its
and frequently to and from the International             exact impact on the Galway tourism industry
airports located at Knock and Shannon. At                remains to be seen but it is sure to be
present, the regional airport located in Galway          significant, either positively or negatively due
provides valuable services directly to Galway            to the large proportion of visitors to Galway
from various destinations within the UK and              that arrive via Shannon.
Ireland. However the airport does not have the
physical capacity to cater for 737 jets and can
only cater for 100-seater planes on a charter
basis. Therefore, the majority of tourists                  “There now exists an opportunity to make
planning on visiting the West are likely to                 Shannon grow in terms of visitor
arrive into one of the two International                    numbers….following a previous reduction
airports. Currently, some 50% of all tourists               of 50% in stopover activity at Shannon,
arriving into Shannon go south, with 37%                    visitor numbers increased”
travelling to the West. This factor has surely
contributed to the South-West being second                   - Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht
highest behind Dublin in terms of overseas                  Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív,, TD     speaking on the
                                                            announced end to the Shannon stop-over, Monday
visitors and highlights the importance of                   10th June 2003
having increased direct air access to Galway.

In terms of the two International Airports
servicing Galway (Knock and Shannon) there               The introduction of Ryanair flights into
is a need to ensure that tourists can connect            Killarney (Kerry Airport located at Farranfore,
easily to Galway, from both airports. These              Killarney) also threatens to have a negative
airports are intrinsically linked to the past,           impact on tourist numbers to Galway. This
present and future success of Galway as a                will put additional pressure on Galway in
tourist destination. This challenge has been             terms of securing their share of the 2003 –
met in part with the introduction of a new               2004 short-break market. Other destinations
direct bus service between Shannon Airport               within Ireland having such air access
and Galway enabling passengers to travel                 amenities require Galway to work harder to
directly to and from the airport without having          gain its share of the market.
to change coaches. The ‘Citylink’ service will
operate four times daily in each direction,              The recommendations of the Galway Air
seven days a week and is scheduled to                    Services Strategy Group (GASS) will be critical
integrate with the flight arrival and departure




                                                    26
                                        Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


to the future of regional airport facilities in                     the downturn in the North American market.
Galway (as discussed in Section 3.5).                               Of the tours that do operate, only ‘major’
                                                                    attractions are on the itinerary, leaving the
Rail Transport                                                      less prominent areas of East and West Galway
                                                                    to depend on the independent traveller.
Rail access is also a challenge facing Galway.                      Strategic measures must be taken to ensure
At present there are 5 daily services to and                        that this valuable market does not come to an
from Dublin serving various locations enroute.                      end completely.

                                                                    Access to the Countryside
However from Galway, there are no direct rail
services in operation to serve the North and                        Access to farmer’s lands is fundamental to the
South of the Country, without having to first                       development and continuity of Galway’s
travel to the outskirts of Dublin City. Again                       walking product. This is a widespread,
this limits the potential for Galway in                             National issue and one that threatens to
attracting tourists from various parts of the                       ultimately cease Ireland’s ability to offer
Country and puts the County at a distinct                           walking tours and packages.
disadvantage in comparison with other
destinations such as the South-West. The                            In the Ireland West Region, lack of access to
Western Rail Corridor Proposal, prepared on                         the Western Way particularly in the
behalf of 12 City and County Development                            commonage areas of Ugool Beach near
Boards from the North-West, West, Mid-West,                         Louisburg (Co. Mayo) has led to considerable
South and South-West regions, identifies and                        adverse publicity over a number of years.
addresses this need29.                                              Other operators who have reported problems
                                                                    with land access include Connemara Safari
The recent National Strategic Rail Review                           and the Castlebar 4-Day Walks. Of course
(February 2003) provides a framework for                            there are legitimate reasons as to why access
investment, incorporating increased services                        is being denied such as route maintenance
on the Dublin to Galway line. However it does                       issues, insurance costs and lack of farmer
not fully address the need for a North-South                        involvement at the planning stages. This issue
radial   route.    The    City    and    County                     however, needs to be addressed at National
Development       Boards,      through      their                   level and should form part of the partnership
Community and Enterprise Departments, are                           agreement currently under negotiation.
continuing in their efforts to gain addition rail
infrastructure for the West of Ireland.                             On behalf of tourism interests in the West
                                                                    Region, Ireland West Tourism has made a
Road access to and within the County                                submission to this effect to the All-Party
                                                                    Committee on the Constitution who requested
Access to and within the County is also an                          written submissions on a range of property
issue for Galway. Rural tourism in Galway at                        rights, including access to the countryside. It
present is very much dependent on car travel,                       is the intention of the Galway City and County
as highlighted in the Tourism Research Report                       Tourism Committee to actively participate in
199730. This increases the traffic flow during                      the resolution of the land access issue and
peak periods, with certain areas becoming                           represent the needs of the Galway’s ‘Walking
congested and diluting the core product that                        Product’.
Galway has to offer. In order to ensure that
tourists are not deterred by the increase in                        Signposting
traffic, regional and local roads require
continued expansion and upgrading to cope                           Signposting      to    and    within     Galway,
with the increased traffic flow.                                    particularly on roundabouts and in more rural
                                                                    areas is also a concern. Adequate and correct
Coach tours, one of Connemara’s main                                signage is essential to enable tourists to arrive
sources of revenue have been severely hit by                        at their destination safely and to enjoy the
                                                                    journey on the way. International signage
29
   ‘Western Strategic Corridor – Rail Link Project’ prepared        overcomes language barriers and ensures that
    by 12 City and County Development Boards from the               all tourists in Galway can make the most of
    North-West, West, Mid-West, South and South West
    regions. Submitted to Strategic Rail Study, April 2002
                                                                    the product on offer. Bilingual signage i.e.
30
    Galway Tourism Research Report 1997 GMIT / Galway
                                                                    English and Gaeilge, ensures that Galway lives
    Chamber of Commerce                                             up to its reputation as a unique, cultural and



                                                               27
                                  Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


bilingual destination. In addition, the use of            The most fundamental basis for such a project
International icons complements Galway’s                  in Galway is that it be unique and ‘one of a
image as a people-friendly holiday destination.           kind’. At present in Ireland, there are many
                                                          opportunities that exist and that have not yet
Traffic Congestion                                        been developed.

Traffic congestion is a serious issue facing              However, it is certain that one by one,
Galway. Galway markets itself on being a                  development of these ideas will take place and
‘rural haven’, or a place where people can ‘get-          Galway could be left behind having missed out
away’ from everything but unfortunately traffic           on an ideal opportunity. One such idea is the
congestion completely contradicts this selling            proposal to develop a Children’s Discovery
point. Clear strategic actions need to be                 Museum in Galway. It is envisioned that this
established to combat this increasing problem.            attraction will be an interactive, fun,
To this end, the Galway City and County                   educational facility for children aged less than
Development       Boards    have    established           12 years, their families and schools. This
Integrated Transportation Co-ordinating                   development would be the first of its kind in
Groups charged with addressing transport                  Ireland, although there are over 400 in the US
issues in the City and towns of Galway,                   and one in every other European Country.
including a focus on congestion.
                                                          Other ‘gaps’ in the market that exist include a
                                                          National harbour or marina area, theme-
                                                          parks, water-parks, a science museum, ice-
 4.3 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT                                  skating facilities and other such developments
                                                          which currently do not exist on a large scale
                                                          throughout Ireland.
Although Galway has been very successful to
date as a tourist destination, it now faces               Alternatively a series of smaller attractions
intense competition from other destinations               could be developed throughout the County to
within Ireland. It is for this reason that Galway         increase dispersal of tourism and ensure that
has to differentiate itself and give people a             Galway can meet the needs of a variety of
unique reason for visiting. To this end,                  markets. The establishment of a number of
promotion of the Irish language throughout                smaller attractions would lesson the reliance
Galway City and County is highly important.               on one key attraction and increase the long-
                                                          term sustainability of the Galway tourism
Following the Galway City of Culture 2005                 product.
Bid,   adjudicators made    the   following
observation:                                              Ideally the provision of a flagship attraction or
                                                          a series of smaller attractions will help to
“The city has strong potential to develop further         reduce the imbalance of tourism development
its bilingual cultural identity and reputation for        that exists between the East and West of the
innovative cultural activity and to enhance the           Country.
important collaborations internationally which
the city has developed in the past”                       Product Development through Clusters
Therefore any future developments should                  The National Development Plan 2002-2006
consider and work to further develop                      recognised     the   importance    of    product
Galway’s unique cultural and linguistic                   development through clusters. The overall aim
heritage.                                                 of clusters is to increase the average length of
                                                          stay by ensuring that tourists have enough
‘Flagship’ Attraction                                     activities to engage in while they are visiting a
                                                          region. It also ensures that tourists have
‘Something big’ is needed for Galway. A                   adequate accommodation and other amenities
‘flagship’ attraction is the term used by                 while in the area. Given its vast and varied
Fáilte Ireland to describe an attraction that             area, Galway has great potential to develop
attracts in excess of 100,000 visitors                    clusters.    Therefore   future   developments
within 5 years. The development of such an                should not be developed in isolation but as
attraction in either Galway City or County is             part of a new, or existing cluster.
possible; given the wide variety of natural
resources the County possesses.



                                                     28
                                    Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Similarly, product clusters need to be well                   City and County Tourism Committee as being
planned and perhaps themed. Examples may                      a major step forward towards realising
include Killary – Waterbased Activity Theme,                  Galway’s full marina/water-based potential.
Gaeltacht (including the Islands) – Gaeltacht
Cultural Theme, Galway East – Ecclesiastical                  New Innovative Ideas
Theme/ Shannon History Theme/Walking
Tour Theme, Galway City - Vibrant Cultural                    With the above challenges facing Galway, one
City Theme/Arts Theme, Connemara – Unique                     of the most pivotal issues is the need for new,
Scenery /Landscape Theme etc.                                 innovative and economically viable product
                                                              development ideas. In this time of intense
Indoor and All-weather Attractions                            competition, Galway’s developments need to
                                                              be unique, to ensure competitive advantage.
Galway is subject to wet weather for much of                  Again this requires co-operation and input
the year, which obviously cannot be changed,                  from all sectors within the industry. Particular
but can be addressed. Indoor and all-weather                  consideration should be given to Eco-friendly
attractions are needed, particularly for family               initiatives as they serve to preserve and
holidays and short breaks, to enable tourists                 promote Galway’s natural resources.
to enjoy the region despite the weather. In
addition, marketing of these facilities is                    Education–based Development
essential.   Existing facilities must also be
promoted in order to increase Galway’s profile                Potential also exists to develop education-
as an all-weather destination.                                based products throughout Galway. Galway’s
                                                              core competencies can be used as a source of
Water-based Tourism                                           learning for adults and children alike.
                                                              Expertise in areas such as heritage, the
According to the findings of Water-based                      Arts,     cultural    diversity,    marine,
Tourism – A Strategic Vision for Galway31                     ecclesiastical and languages etc. could all
Galway City and County has significant                        form the basis for education-based products
potential to develop water-based tourism. The                 developed throughout the County.
report outlines the strategic investment
necessary to:                                                 Conference Facilities and Convention
                                                              Centre
     enhance the existing product base and
     develop a number of flagship initiatives                 The Summer peak, evident in Galway’s
                                                              tourism season, strongly indicates that there
It is felt that this strategic approach will act as           is a lack of off-season business tourism
a catalyst to create clusters of water-based                  coming to Galway. The conference/business
activities, encourage regional spread and                     market has emerged as one of the most
increase domestic / overseas visitors to the                  important off-peak markets within Ireland.
area. The report recommends a number of                       Many destinations have developed their
strategic actions aimed at achieving this                     conference facilities to ensure that they receive
vision.                                                       ‘tourist’ business all-year round. Due to its
                                                              pivotal location and City status, Galway has
The Galway City and County Tourism                            the potential to become the leading conference
Committee shares this vision of developing                    centre for the West of Ireland. Therefore
Galway as a leading centre for water-based                    special emphasis should be placed on further
activity. To this end, an action aimed at                     developing Galway’s conference facilities and
prioritising and implementing a series of                     on promoting these facilities effectively to the
primary and secondary water-based projects                    target market.
as identified in Water-based Tourism – A
Strategic Vision for Galway is proposed.                      There is also potential to develop a Leading
                                                              Convention Centre within Galway. This all-
The development of Marina’s in the City and                   weather facility would greatly enhance
at Renville, Oranmore is also welcomed by the                 Galway’s position as the Capital City of the
                                                              West and would decrease the dependence of
31 Water-based Tourism – A Strategic Vision for Galway        this market on Dublin. This is of course a
Prepared by Tourism Development International April           major product development idea and emphasis
2002                                                          should be placed on the benefits of increased




                                                         29
                                       Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


spatial returns and decentralisation within                     awareness should be drawn to all hurling and
Ireland.                                                        football games scheduled for the season, both
                                                                at a local and County level.
Festivals and Events
                                                                There is also an opportunity to increase co-
Festivals represent a key element of Galway’s                   ordination    through     sport.  Sport    and
tourism       product.      Nationally     and                  Recreational packages can be tailored to offer
internationally renowned festivals, such as the                 tourists a diverse activity-based holiday. This
Galway Oyster Festival, the Galway Races, the                   initiative would serve to promote both long
Galway Arts Festival, Aonach Ceoil agus                         and short breaks, increase tourism dispersal
Curachaí in Spiddal (to name but a few)                         throughout the County and could be tailored
attract thousands of off-peak tourists                          to suit a variety of markets. Transport,
annually. Festivals and local events encourage                  accommodation and access to a variety of
communities to get involved, thus increasing                    sporting experiences including football,
pride and interest in local areas. However                      hurling, soccer, rugby, golf, angling and
festival competition within Ireland has become                  sailing etc. could be provided. The further
intense and Galway, along with other                            development of walkways and cycleways would
destinations particularly Derry and Cork will                   also serve to promote Galway as a recreation-
be competing for a share of the domestic and                    based holiday destination.
overseas cultural festival market. Increased
co-ordination and co-operation is essential to                  Planning Issues
further the success of Galway’s festivals.
Marketing also has a large role to play in                      Galway City and County Councils, whilst not
increasing the profile of Galway’s festivals                    direct providers of tourism services, are
in comparison with other cultural destinations                  essential in various support respects including
                                                                the environment, access, signage, arts,
                                                                culture,    parks,   leisure   facilities, built
   “Galway is the envy of the Country ... for                   environment, litter management, water supply,
   its vibrant Festivals and Events Scene,                      waste water treatment and beaches etc.
   which is almost unrivalled and obviously
   attracts in significant numbers.”                            The future development plans for Galway need
                                                                to ensure that planning decisions take into
    - Mr. Colm Croffy, Chairperson, Association of Irish        account Galway’s natural tourism product.
   Festivals Events (AOIFE)
                                                                This requires increased integration and
                                                                linkages among local authorities (i.e. City and
                                                                County    Development    Plans)    and     local
                                                                development companies.

Sports and Recreation                                           To this end, the Galway City and County
                                                                Tourism Committee have made submissions to
Special interest sports tourism is a new and                    the Draft Galway City Development Plan 2005-
expanding market. The International Sports                      2011 and to the Tourism Policy Review Group,
Tourism Initiative promotes Ireland as a                        established by Minister O’ Donoghue. The aim
premier sports tourism destination and is                       of these submissions is to ensure that tourism
expected to operate until 2007. Some 17 major                   requirements in Galway will be compatible
international events were staged in Ireland                     with planning and development policies. In
during 2002 involving the support of this                       addition, the Committee aims to input to
Initiative.                                                     the Regional Planning Guidelines for the
                                                                Western region on foot of the recently
As Irish sport is unique, it attracts attention                 published National Spatial Strategy.
from international visitors. Galway’s strong
sporting history and Gaeltacht tradition                           “Ultimately this means developing projects
ensures that Gaelic games continue to grow                         that are viable over time (10 years +),
in popularity. The recent upgrading and                            environmentally sensitive and can attract
development of Pearse Stadium is testament to                      tourists based on their individual merit. This
the popularity of Hurling and Football in                          underpins the concept of the development of
Galway. Opportunities exist to further develop                     sustainable tourism”
and promote this traditional custom as a key
tourist attraction. For example, increased                          - Brian Flynn, Chief Executive Ireland West Tourism,
                                                                   February 2003.



                                                           30
                                     Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


                                                             expensive      relative   to   its   European
     4.4 SERVICING THE VISITOR                               counterparts. Also highlighted in the report
                                                             was the fact that Ireland is now one of the
                                                             most expensive countries in Europe in terms
When visitors arrive in Galway, it is essential              of the prices charged in restaurants and pubs.
that they enjoy their visit in order to                      However it should be duly noted that
encourage repeat and referral business. As                   insurance, wage and VAT costs are also
identified in the 1997 Tourism Research                      amongst the highest throughout Europe. It is
Report    by    GMIT/Galway     Chamber      of              difficult to tackle rising insurance and VAT
Commerce, the majority of tourists hear about                costs, as there is a broad range of elements
Galway through friends and relatives –                       involved. The Chambers of Commerce in
therefore in terms of marketing positive word                Galway and the Irish Hotels Federation are
of mouth is priceless.                                       continually lobbying government in a bid to
                                                             increase Ireland’s price competitiveness. The
Sources of satisfaction among tourists in                    Galway City and County Tourism Committee
Galway City and County, as identified in the                 strongly supports this action.
1997 Tourism Research Report conducted by
GMIT, included:
                                                                “Pricing in Ireland and in Galway needs
     Scenery                                                    to be addressed. Tourists want to get
     People – hospitality and friendliness                      value for money”
     Atmosphere
     Facilities                                                  - Jim Woolley, Bus Éireann, February 2003.

Sources    of   dissatisfaction          from     the
aforementioned survey included:

     Weather                                                 People – Hospitality and Friendliness
     Physical environment – Traffic, Parking,
     Signposting, Road Condition, Transport                  Ireland is renowned world-wide for its
     System and Litter                                       hospitality and this is the main reason many
     Cost                                                    people visit the Country. Therefore it is
                                                             essential that all service personnel who come
It is essential to recognise this data as the                in contact with tourists do their best to make
strengths and weaknesses of Galway, from the                 it an enjoyable experience. This would also
perspective of visiting tourists. It highlights              include greater use of the Irish language and
the sphere of elements that impact on a                      the ability to answer correctly any query
tourist’s enjoyment of their holiday in Galway.              tourists may have.
This reinforces the need to increase integration
between sectors to (i) convert Galway’s                      Availability of Information
weaknesses into strengths and (ii) fully
capitalise on the opportunities in existence.                Central to a tourist’s enjoyment of a holiday is
                                                             the ready availability of information. At
Value for Money                                              present, the Ireland West tourist office located
                                                             in the City provides tourists with all the
Although Ireland will never be a cheap                       information they need to plan and enjoy a
destination, it is increasingly being perceived              holiday in Galway. However, emphasis must
as being excessively expensive and is in                     be placed on ensuring that holidaymakers who
danger of losing visitors to other European                  do not visit the tourist office also receive the
locations. A recent Forfás report32 has                      information they need to enjoy their holiday.
indicated that Ireland is now the second                     All accommodation, product and service
most expensive destination in Europe,                        operators provide and should continue to
behind Finland. The price of goods and                       provide this valuable source of tourist
services in Ireland is on average 12% more                   information. In addition, this Framework
                                                             focuses on the promotion of excellence in
                                                             terms of service provision across all areas
                                                             including information provision. To this end,
32The National Competitiveness Council – National            this Framework aims to increase the level of
Competitive Challenge 2002 (Published November 2002)
Released by Forfás Press Office.                             understanding and knowledge of the unique



                                                        31
                                  Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


amenities Galway has to offer in terms of its              potential impact on the Irish tourism industry
cultural products, heritage, environment and               of this Act is as yet unclear.
experience etc. This will be achieved by up-
skilling front–line personnel, emphasising the             However, the Vintners Association of Ireland
importance of positive word of mouth and the               (VFI), which represents over 6,000 pubs and
interests of the visitor.                                  the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), representing
                                                           over 1,000 Hotels and Guesthouses have
Signage and availability of easily recognisable            expressed opposition to the enforcement of
icons is one area that Galway must focus                   proposed smoking bans in pubs, hotels and
upon. Given the diversity of visitors to the               nightclubs throughout Ireland. In contrast, the
County, there is a strong need to ensure that              proposal has been welcomed by several Health
all areas, attractions, services and facilities are        organisations, such as the Irish Cancer
recognisable through international icons and               Society and the Irish Heart Foundation.
signage. This initiative will highlight Galway’s
commitment to its international visitors whilst            The potential consequence of implementing
also benefiting domestic and English-speaking              the ban is relatively unknown, as no other
tourists.                                                  Country within the EU has yet to do so. Due to
                                                           the inter-dependent nature however of the
Standards of Excellence - Quality                          tourism industry, it is likely that any decision
                                                           taken will ultimately have an impact on Irish
Quality and provision of a quality service is              tourism.
a key challenge facing Ireland. One of the key
problems with this challenge is trying to define
                                                              “Education and training will lead to a
‘quality’ and more specifically how it can be
                                                              sustainable local economy. Training
achieved. Quality provision requires input and
                                                              people in order to benefit the area as a
co-operation from a variety of sectors. Through
                                                              whole and encouraging them to remain
the    co-operation    of   key    stakeholders,
                                                              here”
opportunities exist to implement measures
that will differentiate Galway as an area of                   -   Dr. Stuart Jauncey, Department of Hotel and
service excellence within Ireland.                                 Catering Management, GMIT, February 2003.

Training

Within the above context, training and
recognition that ‘tourists are paying wages’ is
required. This reinforces the importance of
encouraging providers, communities, agencies
and operators to familiarise themselves with
other products that exist throughout the
County. Cross-selling involves increasing the
level of referral business by actively
recommending           another        product,
complementary to one’s own. Positive word of
mouth, greater product awareness and
increased tourism yields are benefits of cross-
selling and do not cost anything in monetary
terms.

Proposed Public Health (Tobacco) Act,
2002 (Section 47) Regulations 2003

One of Ireland’s key selling features is the
atmosphere and reputation of its vibrant pub
culture. The Proposed Public Health Act
(Section 47) proposes to cease smoking in all
public-workplaces, which would include pubs
and restaurants throughout Ireland. The




                                                      32
                               Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action



       4.5 Our Strengths,
          Weaknesses,
       Opportunities and
            Threats

At this stage of our Framework, having
identified the current circumstances of
tourism in Galway and the key challenges
facing Galway as a tourist destination, the
following      Strengths,       Weaknesses,
Opportunities     and    Threats  (S.W.O.T)
analysis has been complied.

This analysis identifies the key strengths of
Galway’s tourism product and is a summary of
all the elements, which contributed to the
formation of our Objectives and Actions, as
outlined in Section 5.

Central to all actions arising from the S.W.O.T
analysis will be the conversion of Weaknesses
into    Strengths     and      capitalising  on
Opportunities.




                                                  33
                                  Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


                     Strengths                                                Weaknesses

General/Environment                                       General
   Exceptional natural beauty & physical                     Average length of stay too short
   environment                                               Tourism peaks in July and August
   Strong cultural and heritage identity                     Uneven regional dispersal of tourism
   Well established tourism base on which to build           Low occupancy rates
Access                                                    Marketing
   Regional airport                                          Lack of co-ordination of marketing activities
   Serviced by two International airports                    Over-dependence on voluntary sector
   Port access                                               Insufficient marketing of all-weather/indoor
   Regular daily air, road and rail services to Dublin       facilities
   Regular bus services connecting Galway to the             Decline of approved rural accommodation
   rest of Ireland                                        Access
Product                                                      Limited direct, overseas air access into Galway
   Significant number of events and festivals                Road infrastructure needs upgrading
   Existing waterbased activities on which to build          Rail infrastructure needs expansion
   Well established Arts organisations                       Traffic congestion
   Young adaptable highly educated workforce              Product Development
Servicing the visitor                                        Lacking innovative product development ideas
   Hospitality & Friendliness                                In need of ‘flagship’ attraction/series of smaller
   High visitor satisfaction ratings                         attractions
Funding                                                      Need for product clusters of scale
   Gateway status (NSS)                                   Servicing the visitor
   Tuam Hub and Rapid Status                                 Service may fall short of expectation
   Ballinasloe Rapid Status                                  Prices may exceed expectation
                                                             Lack of Irish language used in service
                                                             Information gaps for niche products
                                                             Reports of street violence
                                                          Funding
                                                             Funding remains a key inhibitor for marketing,
                                                             new product & access development
                   Opportunities                                                Threats

General                                                   General
   Unified strategic planning                                War/terrorism
Marketing                                                    Rising insurance and labour costs
   Expansion of short-break market                           Environmental damage, resulting in
   Market special interest products                          deterioration of core products
   Market existing product base                              Weather
   Attract repeat and referral business                      Excess commercialisation
   Capitalise on new media – Internet, email & text       Marketing
   Strengthen working links between public, private          Increased competition, both domestic and
   and community sectors                                     international
Access                                                       Changing consumer demands
   Potential for future developments under NDP and        Access
   National Spatial Strategy                                 Funding for access development
   Improve road & rail network and access from            Product Development
   Shannon and Knock airport                                 Funding for product development
   Renewal of the Western Rail Corridor                      Other destinations seizing development
Product Development                                          opportunities
   Increased demand for activity based holidays              Planning issues/constraints
   Potential to expand language learning market           Servicing the visitor
   Develop Summer Schools based on local expertise           Price transparency
   Further development of traditional culture                Loss of friendliness/hospitality
   Develop Eco-tourism initiatives                        Funding
   Further Develop Galway as a cultural destination          Short-term funding – finite and limited
Servicing the Visitor                                        resources
   Further training for service personnel
   Increased use of the Irish language
   Fill in information gaps
   Enhance disability and child-friendly amenities
Funding
   National Development Plan




                                                     34
                               Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


    4.6 OUR VISION FOR THE
             FUTURE

Having identified through research and                 Our Vision:
extensive consultation the current situation of
tourism in Galway and the key challenges it
now faces, a Vision emerged for the future
development of tourism in the County.

Our Vision was developed from the inputs and            ‘To further develop
views, received from various stakeholders
across a diversity of sectors throughout                    Galway as a
Galway.
                                                         vibrantly unique
Our Vision identifies the strengths of the
Galway tourism product, namely its cultural             destination centred
identity, as the means to ultimately achieving
increased tourism yield for all stakeholders.             on its cultural
Our Vision also highlights the need for a              identity and built on
sustainable approach to tourism development
in Galway, in order to preserve and further             a foundation of co-
enhance the natural amenities the County has
to offer.                                                  operation and
The integrated and consultative nature                      integration”
through which our Vision was developed
coincides with the ultimate aim of the Galway
City and County Tourism Committee. It is
through this process of increased integration
and co-ordination that a number of key
objectives and actions, as laid out in our
Framework for Action, will be achieved.




                                                  35
Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




                36
        Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




5.



     A FRAMEWORK FOR
          ACTION




                        37
                           Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


FIGURE 4 UNDERSTANDING OUR FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION


        VISION
       Our Dream


                                                THEMES
                                         Our Cores Areas



                                OBJECTIVES
                          What we aim to achieve




                                                       ACTIONS
                                                How we will achieve our
                                                     objectives



                                   LEAD AGENCIES
                            Responsible for overseeing the
                              implementation of actions




                 OUTPUTS/ OUTCOMES                                 INDICATIVE
              Will indicate if we are achieving                     SUPPORT
                        our objectives                              AGENCIES




                                           38
                               Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


                                                       OBJECTIVE 1.3
     5.1 SUMMARY OF OUR
    FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION                               To undertake market research on a
                                                       regular basis aimed at ensuring
                                                       Galway’s   products/services match
Following an identification of the current             consumer and market demands
situation of tourism in Galway, the main
challenges facing the County were evident.
These challenges were categorised into four
                                                       OBJECTIVE 1.4
main areas forming the foundation on which
the Framework for Action is built.                     To promote a choice of value for
                                                       money, all-weather attractions, with
The Objectives and Actions outlined in the             the ultimate aim of extending the
following Framework for Action represent               length of the tourism season
achievable priority action areas.

Lead Partner(s) will be responsible for co-
ordinating the implementation of each Action,                      2. ACCESS
while the Galway City and County Tourism
Committee will facilitate ongoing co-ordination
and act as a mechanism for reviewing
progress. In each case Support Agencies will           OBJECTIVE 2.1
work in conjunction with Lead Partner(s) to co-
ordinate the implementation of specific                To facilitate increased International
actions.                                               and domestic air access to the West
                                                       and enhance transport links to key
A number of key Outputs/Outcomes are also              tourism locations in Galway City and
highlighted     for   each       Action and            County
achievement/attainment of these Outcomes
will ultimately measure the success of the             OBJECTIVE 2.2
implementation of a specific Action.

The following is a summary of all Objectives           To work in partnership with relevant
outline in the Framework under their                   authorities to provide additional rail
respective core theme area.                            infrastructure and services in the
                                                       Western Region and on the Galway to
                                                       Dublin route
           1. MARKETING                                OBJECTIVE 2.3

                                                       To integrate tourism objectives and
OBJECTIVE 1.1                                          needs in road infrastructure plans and
                                                       other strategic planning processes for
Promote Galway’s existing product                      Galway City and County
base through a co-ordinated approach
aimed at maximising the return from
resources
                                                        3. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
OBJECTIVE 1.2

To increase the level of tourism                       OBJECTIVE 3.1
dispersal and average length of stay
throughout the County, during peak                     To co-ordinate public, private and
and off-peak times                                     community resources to create a
                                                       National ‘flagship’ attraction, or series
                                                       of attractions, for Galway City and
                                                       County



                                                  39
                           Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


OBJECTIVE 3.2

To provide visitors and residents of
Galway City and County with a choice
of quality special interest products
based on our natural, built and
cultural resources

OBJECTIVE 3.3

To establish Galway City and County,
through targeted investment, as a
leading National and European water-
based activity destination



  4. SERVICING THE VISITOR

OBJECTIVE 4.1

To    nurture    and    maximise    the
hospitality and friendliness of Galway,
its people, products and services

OBJECTIVE 4.2

To achieve standards of excellence in
service provision via inter-sectoral co-
operation and co-ordination

OBJECTIVE 4.3

To further develop Galway as a ‘Value
for Money’ destination

OBJECTIVE 4.4

To increase the provision of language
services, signage and awareness of its
importance to tourism development in
Galway




                                           40
                                                                                                          Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




                                                                        Action Area 1 - Marketing

Marketing                   Promote Galway’s existing product base through a co-ordinated approach
Objective 1.1               aimed at maximising the return from resources
Action 1.1.1                              Lead Agency             Indicative Support Agencies                 Outputs / Outcomes                      Completion
                                                                                                                                                      Date

Establish a Strategic Marketing           Galway City and         Galway City and County                           Economies of scale                     September
Group33 incorporating a                   County Tourism          Enterprise Boards, AOIFE                         Increased knowledge of                 2003 and
constant review of trade                  Committee                                                                product base                           ongoing
membership aimed at:                                                                                               Stronger product identity              thereafter
(i) maximising the value of                                                                                        Strengthened competitive
existing marketing resources and                                                                                   advantage
(ii) exploring the possibility of
developing a brand identity for
Galway

Action 1.1.2                              Lead Agency             Indicative Support Agencies                 Outputs / Outcomes                      Completion
                                                                                                                                                      Date

Foster co-operative and                   Ireland West            Galway City and County Tourism                  Increased Countywide                   December
information sharing networks,             Tourism                 Committee, Irish Hotels                         knowledge and familiarity              2003 and
encouraging new linkages                                          Federation, Galway Town and                     of the product base                    ongoing
involving marketing personnel in                                  Country Homes Association, Irish                Improved returns from                  thereafter
the public and private sectors via                                Farm Holidays Association,                      executive marketing
familiarity trips, trade                                          Galway East Tourism, Galway                     knowledge and experience
/consumer promotions and ‘off                                     City and County Enterprise                      Increased length of stay
season’ coach tours.                                              Boards, The Western Development                 and tourism revenue
                                                                  Tourism Programme, Trade Sector                 Improved occupancy rates


33
  A Strategic Marketing Group has been established as a sub-group of the Galway City and County Tourism Committee. Present membership includes: Ireland West Tourism, Údarás na
Gaeltachta (Gaelsaoire), the Western Regional Fisheries Board, Connemara Tourism, Galway East Tourism, Galway Airport Ltd. Irish Hotels Federation and the Town and Country Homes
Association.




                                                                                            41
                                                                                         Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




Action 1.1.3                       Lead Agency         Indicative Support Agencies          Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                                                                                              Date

Plan and implement co-             Marketing Group     Galway Tourism, Galway City and         Economies of scale               Annually
ordinated marketing initiatives                        County Tourism Committee, Irish         Greater market
on a per annum basis, centred                          Hotels Federation, Galway Town          penetration of domestic
on clearly defined ‘products’                          and Country Homes Association,          and overseas markets
and target markets, including:                         Irish Farm Holidays Association,        Increased visitor numbers
                                                       Galway City and County                  and revenue
                                                       Enterprise Boards, The Western          Increased tourism
                                                       Development Tourism                     dispersal
                                                       Programme, the Education Sector

(i)     Maximising the level of    Ireland West        Galway City and County Tourism          Increased online capability      December
        online promotion, via      Tourism, Galway     Committee, Fáilte Ireland, Irish        of service providers             2003 and
        training/demonstration     Rural Development   Hotels Federation, Galway Town          Increase in online sales,        ongoing
        initiatives and further    Company             and Country Homes Association,          reservations and queries         thereafter
        development of the                             Irish Farm Holidays Association,        Cost savings
        Ireland West Tourism                           Galway City and County
        web-site                                       Enterprise Boards, The Western
                                                       Development Tourism
                                                       Programme, the Education Sector

(ii)    Update and promote on      Galway City         Galway City and County Tourism          As above                         June 2003
        a regular basis            Council             Committee and Galway Chamber                                             and ongoing
        www.Galwaycity.biz                             of Commerce and Industry                                                 thereafter

Action 1.1.4                       Lead Agency         Indicative Support Agencies          Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                                                                                              Date
Facilitate further investigation   Galway Harbour      Ireland West Tourism, Marketing         To promote Galway as a           March 2004
into a long term marketing         Company             Group, Galway Tourism                   port of call with cruise         and ongoing
strategy aimed at increasing                                                                   operators                        thereafter
cruise liner activity to Galway                                                                To compete with other port
                                                                                               destinations within Ireland
                                                                                               Increased awareness of
                                                                                               potential cruise liner value
                                                                                               for Galway




                                                                           42
                                                                                        Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




Marketing                 To increase the level of tourism dispersal and average length of stay
Objective 1.2             throughout the County, during peak and off-peak times

Action 1.2.1                           Lead Agency       Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                         Agencies                                                           Date
Generate inter-sectoral synergies      Marketing Group   Galway Tourism, Ireland West         Improved occupancy rates        December
involving co-ordinated                                   Tourism,      Galway      Rural      throughout Galway               2003 and
promotional initiatives designed                         Development Company, Galway          Increased average length of     ongoing
to:                                                      City   and   County     Tourism      stay                            thereafter
                                                         Committee,      Irish     Hotels     Increased tourism revenues
(i)     maximise                                         Federation, Town and Country         Increased targeting of past
        occupancy rates;                                 Homes Association, Irish Farm        visitors
(ii)    increase the                                     Holidays Association, Galway         Greater referral business
        level of repeat and referral                     East    Tourism,     Connemara       through co-ordination
        business via database                            Tourism, Údarás na Gaeltachta,       Positive word of mouth
        sharing, special offers,                         Western    Regional    Fisheries     Cost Savings
        package deals etc. and                           Board
(iii)   ensure that
        Galway is promoted as a
        long and short stay
        holiday destination

Action 1.2.2                           Lead Agency       Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                         Agencies                                                           Date

Increase awareness among               Galway Rural      Galway City and County               Greater co-ordination           December
communities of the importance of       Development       Community Fora, Galway City          between areas                   2003 and
their involvement and                  Company           Council, Galway Town and             Economies of scale              ongoing
participation in local tourism                           Country Homes Association,           Improved tourism revenues       thereafter
development via a series of                              Irish Farm Holidays Association,
information workshops and                                Teagasc, Galway East Tourism,
familiarisation initiatives                              Connemara Tourism, AOIFE,
                                                         The Western Development
                                                         Tourism Programme




                                                                             43
                                                                                         Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




Action 1.2.3                          Lead Agency       Indicative Support                  Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                        Agencies                                                              Date

Within the context of the City and    Marketing Group   Galway    Rural     Development       Increased profile of special      December
County Heritage / Arts Plans:                           Company,     Galway    Tourism,       interest products and events      2003 and
Define, promote and package                             Galway    City    and    County       in Galway                         ongoing
more effectively in conjunction                         Councils,      Irish      Hotels      Increased visitor numbers         thereafter
with accommodation and access                           Federation, Galway Town and           and revenue for special
providers, the range of cultural,                       Country Homes Association,            interest products
niche     and   special    interest                     Irish Farm Holidays Association,      Extended tourism season
products/festival events Galway                         The     Western     Development       Emergence of new markets
has to offer                                            Tourism Programme, AOIFE              for Galway




Action 1.2.4                          Lead Agency       Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                        Agencies                                                             Date
Reference and promote approved        Ireland West      Galway City and County Tourism        Improved returns from            September
accommodation and self-catering       Tourism           Committee, Irish Hotels               product base                     2004
facilities available in conjunction                     Federation, Galway Town and           Increased occupancy rates
with the development of all new                         Country Homes Association,
'trails' and tourism clusters                           Tourism Providers and
                                                        Operators, Fáilte Ireland, The
                                                        Western Development Tourism
                                                        Programme via trueireland.com

Action 1.2.5                          Lead Agency       Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes               Completion
                                                        Agencies                                                            Date
Market and package sporting           Ireland West      Galway City and County               Increased access to the           May 2004
events more effectively including     Tourism           Tourism Committee, Fáilte            existing sports product base
Inter-County hurling matches,                           Ireland, the Sports and              Increased number of visitors
rugby fixtures, golf courses, fishing                   Recreation Forum and Sports          on short breaks
etc., promoting value for money                         Bodies
packages




                                                                           44
                                                                                     Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




Marketing                To undertake market research on a regular basis aimed at ensuring Galway’s
Objective 1.3            products/services match consumer and market demands
Action 1.3.1                    Lead Agency       Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes                    Completion
                                                  Agencies                                                                 Date
Facilitate links with the       Galway City and   NUI, Galway, Galway Mayo             Availability of annual data           December
National University Ireland,    County Tourism    Institute of Technology (West of     Utilisation of existing resources     2003
Galway and the Galway           Committee         Ireland Centre for Hospitality       and opportunities
Mayo Institute of                                 and Tourism Research), Galway
Technology aimed at                               Rural Development Company
securing cost-effective                           and the Marine Institute
market research

Action 1.3.2                    Lead Agency       Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes                    Completion
                                                  Agencies                                                                 Date
Explore the feasibility of      Galway City and   NUI, Galway, Galway Mayo             Availability of annual data           December
research students from          County Tourism    Institute of Technology (West of     More informed strategic               2003 and
NUI, Galway and the             Committee         Ireland Centre for Hospitality       decisions                             ongoing
Galway Mayo Institute of                          and Tourism Research), Iarnród       Identification of gaps in             thereafter
Technology undertaking                            Éireann, Bus Éireann and             Galway’s product/service base
regular tourism research in                       Galway Airport
Galway
Action 1.3.3                    Lead Agency       Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes                    Completion
                                                  Agencies                                                                 Date
Establish a research            Galway City and   NUI, Galway, Galway Mayo             Clear indication of research          June 2004
subgroup aimed at:              County Tourism    Institute of Technology (West of     undertaken in Galway
(i) information sharing;        Committee         Ireland Centre for Hospitality       Increased sharing of research
(ii) avoiding duplication of                      and Tourism Research) and            data
research                                          Galway Rural Development             More informed marketing
(iii) maximising the benefits                     Company                              decisions
of research spin-offs and
(iv) making all research
readily available to the
tourism sector




                                                                          45
                                                                                           Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




Marketing                To promote a choice of value for money, all-weather attractions in Galway City
Objective 1.4            & County, with the ultimate aim of extending the length of the tourism season
Action 1.4.1                     Lead Agency            Indicative Support                  Outputs / Outcomes                    Completion
                                                        Agencies                                                                  Date
Review existing facilities       Ireland West Tourism   Galway City & County Tourism            Increased awareness of              September
and product base to:                                    Committee, Galway City &                existing facilities                 2004 and
                                                        County Councils (via Heritage           Availability of Internationally     ongoing
(i)     identify those                                  and Arts Plans) Galway East             recognisable promotional            thereafter
        which promote                                   Tourism, Connemara Tourism,             literature on all-weather
        year round                                      Irish Hotels Federation, Galway         facilities available in Galway
        availability and all-                           Town and Country Homes                  Extension of tourism season
        weather facilities;                             Association, Irish Farm Holidays        Focus on all-weather /year
(ii)    produce a                                       Association, Product                    round aspect of existing
        'graphics-style map'                            Owners/Managers                         facilities
        of all-weather                                                                          Increased use of existing
        facilities in the City                                                                  facilities
        and County,
        modelled on
        tourism maps
        available in other
        European cities and
(iii)   incorporate ‘all-
        weather’ features of
        existing and
        planned facilities
        into all promotional
        material
Action 1.4.2                     Lead Agency             Indicative Support                  Outputs / Outcomes                   Completion
                                                         Agencies                                                                 Date
Expand ‘true Ireland’            Western Development     Galway Rural Development          Establish presence of                    Ongoing
website by acquiring new         Tourism Programme       Company                           underdeveloped areas in Galway
content partners from                                                                      on www.trueireland.com
underdeveloped areas
within Galway




                                                                             46
                                                                                        Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




                                                             Action Area 2 - Access
Access                 To facilitate increased International and domestic air access to the West and
Objective 2.1          enhance transport links to key tourism locations in Galway City and County

Action 2.1.1                  Lead Agency            Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes                  Completion
                                                     Agencies                                                               Date

Support the implementation   Galway Airport and      Ireland West Tourism, Galway City       Increased domestic and            Ongoing
of the Galway Airport        Galway Chamber of       Council, Bus Éireann, Aer Árann,         international services to
Development Plan             Commerce and            Galway City and County Tourism           Galway Airport
                             Industry                Committee, Tourism Operators


Action 2.1.2                  Lead Agency            Indicative Support Agencies          Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                                                                                            Date
Advance the provision of     Bus Éireann, Galway     Ireland West Tourism, Galway            Increased access to Galway       December
regular bus services between Airport Company         City and County Tourism                 Airport                          2003
Galway Airport and Galway                            Committee, Galway Chambers of           Regular Airport Bus Services
City and County to cater for                         Commerce, Galway Rural
tourism and business sectors                         Development Company, The
                                                     Department of Transport, Private
                                                     Bus Operators, Aer Árann and
                                                     other air service operators

Action 2.1.3                  Lead Agency             Indicative Support             Outputs / Outcomes                     Completion
                                                      Agencies                                                              Date

Maximise access               Ireland West Tourism    Western Development                   Increased tourism revenue          September
opportunities to create a                             Commission, Galway City and           Extended tourist season            2004
greater range of short break-                         County Tourism Committee
options




                                                                         47
                                                                                      Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




Action 2.1.4                     Lead Agency           Indicative Support             Outputs / Outcomes                     Completion
                                                       Agencies                                                              Date

Support the development of       Galway City and       The Department of Transport,      Improved quality of service for       May 2004
direct bus services between      County Tourism        Shannon Airport, Knock            airline users
Shannon / Knock Airports         Committee             Airport, Galway Rural             Increased access to Galway City
and Galway City and County                             Development Company,              and County
                                                       Public and Private Bus
                                                       Operators
Action 2.1.5                     Lead Agency           Indicative Support             Outputs / Outcomes                     Completion
                                                       Agencies                                                              Date

Support the development of       Department of Arts,   Údarás na Gaeltachta, Aer          Regular air services established     Ongoing
Air Services to the Islands of   Heritage, Gaeltacht   Arann, Galway City and             to all off-shore islands
Galway                           and the Islands       County Enterprise Boards




                                                                          48
                                                                                  Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




Access                  To work in partnership with relevant authorities to provide additional rail
Objective 2.2           infrastructure and services in the Western Region and on the Galway to Dublin
                        route
Action 2.2.1                      Lead Agency       Indicative Support            Outputs / Outcomes                 Completion
                                                    Agencies                                                         Date

Improve the quality of rail       Iarnród Éireann   Department of Transport           Improved passenger               Spring 2006
services      and      enhance                                                        comfort and state of the art
customer comfort on the                                                               facilities
Dublin    to    Galway    route
through the introduction of
new rolling stock

Action 2.2.2                      Lead Agency       Indicative Support Agencies    Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                                                                                     Date

Work towards increasing the       Iarnród Éireann   Department of Transport           Greater frequency of             December
frequency of services between                                                         services                         2007
Galway and Dublin and move                                                            More certainty in time-
to clock face departures                                                              tabling for customers

Action 2.2.3                       Lead Agency      Indicative Support Agencies    Outputs / Outcomes                 Completion
                                                                                                                      Date

Work to reduce journey times      Iarnród Éireann   Department of Transport           Shorter journey times            December
between Galway and Dublin                                                             between major cities             2007
through the introduction of new                                                       Improved access to the
limited-stop services                                                                 West




                                                                         49
                                                                                        Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




Action 2.2.4                     Lead Agency           Indicative Support               Outputs / Outcomes                 Completion
                                                       Agencies                                                            Date

Support the Western City and     Galway   City   and   Galway City and County               Increased infrastructure          Ongoing
County Development Boards’       County      Tourism   Development Boards, Galway           and services for the
initiatives to promote the       Committee             East Tourism, Galway Rural           Western region
provision of the 'Western Rail                         Tourism Co-operative, Western        Identification and inclusion
Corridor’, incorporating                               Development Commission,              of tourism needs in policy
commuter services from East                            Galway City and County               and research submissions
Galway                                                 Community Fora                       to Government




Action 2.2.5                      Lead Agency          Indicative Support                Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                       Agencies                                                            Date


Develop integrated East          Galway City and       Galway East Tourism, Galway          Increased returns from           April 2004
Galway Tourism packages          County Tourism        Rural Development Company,           existing product base
which utilise more fully the     Committee             Galway Rural Tourism Co-             Increased tourism
existing rail services                                 operative, Public and Private        Dispersal
                                                       Bus Operators, Irish Hotels
                                                       Federation, Irish Farm
                                                       Holidays Association, Town and
                                                       Country Homes Association,
                                                       AOIFE




                                                                           50
                                                                                         Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




Access                 To integrate tourism objectives and needs in road infrastructure plans and
Objective 2.3          other strategic planning processes for Galway City and County
Action 2.3.1                     Lead Agency              Indicative Support               Outputs / Outcomes             Completion
                                                          Agencies                                                        Date
Prepare joint submissions with   Galway City and          Integrated City and County          Inputs to National Policy      Annual
the City and County Integrated   County Tourism           Transportation Co-ordinating        developments                   Submissions
Transportation Co-ordinating     Committee                Groups, the Western                 Promotion of tourism as a
Groups to the Department of                               Development Commission              key economic resource
Transport which highlight the                                                                 Enhanced working links
needs of the tourism sector                                                                   with the City and County
                                                                                              Development Board sub-
                                                                                              structures and improved
                                                                                              co-ordination at local
                                                                                              level
Action 2.3.2                     Lead Agency              Indicative Support               Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                          Agencies                                                         Date

Prepare submissions to the:      Galway City and County   Galway City Council,                 Recognition of tourism        August 2003
(i) Galway City and County       Tourism Committee        Galway County Council,               as a key economic
Development Plans and                                     Western Regional Authority,          resource in the region
(ii) Regional Planning                                    the Border, Midlands and
Guidelines which document                                 Western Regional Assembly,
the tourism requirements for                              Galway City and County
Galway City and County                                    Development Boards




                                                                          51
                                                                                         Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




Action 2.3.3                        Lead Agency              Indicative Support             Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                             Agencies                                                       Date

Establish clarity and certainty     Ireland West Tourism     Galway City and County            Clear guidelines regarding     June 2003
with respect to access to the                                Tourism Committee                 access to private land for     and ongoing
countryside                                                                                    tourism activities             thereafter



Action 2.3.4                        Lead Agency              Indicative Support             Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                             Agencies                                                       Date

Co-ordinate initiatives on an       Galway City and County   Galway City Council,              Increased co-operation         December
annual basis aimed at               Tourism Committee        Galway County Council and         among relevant                 2003 and
reviewing the signage needs of                               the National Roads Authority      authorities to integrate       ongoing
the tourism sector and                                                                         tourism needs in signage       thereafter
promoting the use of                                                                           provision
'international icons' for access
and services


Action 2.3.5                       Lead Agency               Indicative Support             Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                             Agencies                                                       Date

Review signage on an annual        Galway City Council and   Galway City and County          Improved signage and              December
basis for Galway City and          Galway County Council     Tourism Committee and the       access to the City and            2003 and
County with respect to all                                   National Roads Authority        County                            ongoing
National Primary and                                                                                                           thereafter
Secondary routes




                                                                             52
                                                                                          Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




Action 2.3.6                    Lead Agency                Indicative Support             Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                         Date

Integrate tourism objectives    Galway City Council and   The National Roads Authority         Improved road access to,         Ongoing
to ensure improved road         Galway County Council                                          from and within Galway
infrastructure to, from and                                                                    City and County
within Galway City and
County



Action 2.3.7                    Lead Agency               Indicative Support              Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                          Agencies                                                          Date

Address traffic congestion in   Galway City Council       Galway City and County              Reduction in traffic              Ongoing
Galway City and County          and Galway County         Integrated Transportation Co-       congestion
towns adopting an inter-        Council                   ordination Groups and the           Improved bus services
sectoral approach                                         National Roads Authority


Action 2.3.8                    Lead Agency               Indicative Support              Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                          Agencies                                                          Date

Ensure that Island roads are    Galway County Council     Comhdháil Oileáin na               Improved road and access          Ongoing
adequate and safe for                                     hÉireann, Department of Arts,      standards
current/projected traffic                                 Heritage, Gaeltactht and the
usage and develop services                                Islands, Údarás na Gaeltachta
from Ros A' Mhil to support                               and the Island Development
Island Access                                             Association




                                                                             53
                                                                             Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




Action 2.3.9                   Lead Agency       Indicative Support          Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                 Agencies                                                      Date

Proactively promote and        Galway City and   Galway City and County          Reduced marketing costs           December
encourage all tourism          County Tourism    Councils, Galway Chambers       Increased Information             2003 and
stakeholders to avail of       Committee         of Commerce, Enterprise         provision                         ongoing
Broadband Technology                             Ireland, IDA Ireland            Increased communications          thereafter
linking with relevant                                                            access to International
National and Regional bodies                                                     markets




                                                                  54
                                                                                      Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


                                                   Action Area 3 – Product Development
Macro Action                  Lead Agency          Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes                    Completion
                                                   Agencies                                                                 Date

Facilitate an overall co-      Ireland West Tourism Galway City and County              Increased sharing of                  September
ordinating structure in Galway                      Development Boards, Galway City     information and resources             2003
City and County to achieve                          and County Tourism Committee,       Improved access to resources
maximum co-operation in                             Galway Tourism                      for tourism development in
product development, access                                                             Galway City and County
to resources and
implementation of the Galway
City and County Tourism
Framework for Action

Product                      To co-ordinate public, private and community resources to create a
Development                  National 'flagship' attraction or series of attractions for Galway City &
Objective 3.1                County
Action 3.1.1                 Lead Agency           Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes                    Completion
                                                   Agencies                                                                 Date

Support the development of   Galway City & County Ireland West Tourism, Galway City      Purpose built indoor and              2005 - with
a purpose-built Children's   Tourism Committee    Council, Galway County Council,        outdoor facility incorporating a      review of
Discovery Museum as a                             the Museum Partnership                 focus on families and children        flagship
flagship attraction                                                                      Development of an attraction          status 5
                                                                                         which is capable of generating        years after
                                                                                         100,000 visitors within 5 years       opening
                                                                                         of opening




                                                                         55
                                                                                             Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Action 3.1.2                     Lead Agency                  Indicative Support                  Outputs / Outcomes                  Completion
                                                              Agencies                                                                Date
Review existing and potential   Ireland West Tourism          NUI, Galway, Galway Mayo              Review of all potential             December
science and technology                                        Institute of Technology, Galway       products including                  2004
products in Galway City and                                   City Council, Galway City             exhibits, museums and
County to identify new and                                    Museum, Galway County Council,        technology companies
innovative clusters of                                        the Marine Institute, Teagasc,        Co-ordination amongst
attractions                                                   Galway Education Centre, Private      product owners
                                                              Sector Companies (involving links     Development of a series of
                                                              to Boston Scientific, Medtronic       attractions capable of
                                                              and others)                           generating 100,000 visitors
                                                                                                    within 5 years
Action 3.1.3                     Lead Agency                  Indicative Support                  Outputs / Outcomes                  Completion
                                                              Agencies                                                                Date
Review feasibility of Galway as a Gaillimh le Gaeilge and     Údarás na Gaeltachta, NUI,            Feasibility and action plan         December
'Hub of Celtic Culture' to include Galway Mayo Institute of   Galway, Ireland West Tourism,         reviewed on Galway as a Hub         2004
research on a 'Diaspora Centre' Technology                    Galway City Council and Galway        of Celtic Culture
in Galway City or County                                      County Council                        Position Galway as a leading
                                                                                                    International centre for Celtic
                                                                                                    Culture
                                                                                                    Reference Galway as a hub of
                                                                                                    Celtic Culture in marketing
                                                                                                    material
Action 3.1.4                    Lead Agency                   Indicative Support                  Outputs / Outcomes                  Completion
                                                              Agencies                                                                Date
Promote Galway City & County Galway City & County             Ireland West Tourism, Galway          Identification of potential         Annual
as a first class location for Tourism Committee               City and County Councils              National flagships (i.e.            Reviews
decentralisation of national                                                                        similar to the Museum of
flagship attractions                                                                                Country Life)
                                                                                                    Co-ordination of
                                                                                                    submissions to
                                                                                                    Government on Galway as
                                                                                                    a first class tourism
                                                                                                    location



                                                                               56
                                                                                        Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Action 3.1.5                     Lead Agency               Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                           Date
Annually review local            Galway City & County      Fáilte Ireland and Galway Rural      Development of targeted         Annual
applications for National and    Tourism Committee         Development Company                  support for applicants and      action
Regional funding aimed at                                                                       potential attractions
identifying potential flagship                                                                  Increased funding and
products in Galway City and                                                                     revenue to the County
County such as a major
convention / all weather
facility

Action 3.1.6                     Lead Agency               Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                           Date
Support the development of a     Galway City Council and   Ireland West Tourism, the            Increased awareness of the       May 2004
high quality ‘Museum Service     Galway County Council     Heritage Council, Galway City        diversity of museum
Trail’ throughout Galway                                   and County Tourism Committee,        products in Galway City and
within the context of the                                  Museum Managers / Providers          County
Galway City and County                                                                          Joint marketing of museum
Heritage Plans                                                                                  products
                                                                                                Improved exhibition
                                                                                                standards

Action 3.1.7                     Lead Agency               Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                           Date
Support additional cultural    Galway City Council and     Galway City and County               Increased cultural             December
infrastructure though creative Galway County Council       Development Boards, the Heritage     infrastructure                 2006
and innovative use of space                                Forum, Údarás na Gaeltachta,
and shared funding                                         Galway City and County VEC’s,
                                                           the Western Health Board




                                                                            57
                                                                                         Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Action 3.1.8                      Lead Agency             Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes               Completion
                                                          Agencies                                                              Date
Implement investment              Galway City Council     The Heritage Council and the             New Tourism                    Museum -
programme in Galway City                                  Office of Public Works                   Attractions                    December
Museum and examine the                                                                             New product packages/          2004
feasibility of redeveloping the                                                                    museum trails                  Waterworks
Waterworks as an Industrial                                                                                                       initiative -
Museum                                                                                                                            ongoing
Action 3.1.9                      Lead Agency             Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes               Completion
                                                          Agencies                                                              Date
Create a Galway East Coach     Galway East Tourism and    Ireland West Tourism, Bus              Galway East Coach Tour,          May 2004
Tour package, capable of       Galway Rural Tourism Co-   Éireann, Private Bus Operators,        linking key attractions in
operating on a year round      operative                  Galway County Council, Galway          East Galway and
basis, focussing on the unique                            Rural Development Company,             maximising day-trippers
natural, built and cultural                               Local Tourism Providers, Galway        from Galway City
assets of the area                                        County Community Forum


Action 3.1.10                     Lead Agency             Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes               Completion
                                                          Agencies                                                              Date
Improve access for people         Galway City Council     Galway City and County Tourism         Access to new markets            Commencing
with a disability via the pilot                           Committee                              Improved access to services      January
Barcelona Declaration                                                                            for people with a disability     2003 and
Project in operation in                                                                          in Galway City                   ongoing
Galway City                                                                                                                       thereafter
Action 3.1.11                     Lead Agency             Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes               Completion
                                                          Agencies                                                              Date
Explore the feasibility of        Galway City Council     Coillte, Teagasc, Office of Public     New tourism attraction           December
developing a Forestry                                     Works, Department of                   Eco-tourism development          2004
Interpretative Centre in                                  Communications, Marine and             Increased Environmental
Terryland Forest Park                                     Natural Resources, NUI, Galway,        sustainability
                                                          Galway-Mayo Institute of
                                                          Technology, Tree Council of
                                                          Ireland, Community Groups,
                                                          Local Ecologists and Artists



                                                                             58
                                                                                        Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Product Development                   To provide visitors and residents of Galway City and County with a
Objective 3.2                         choice of quality special interest products based on our natural, built
                                      and cultural resources
Action 3.2.1                          Lead Agency          Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                               Date

Develop and deliver research and      Galway Rural         Irish Hotels Federation, Galway        Unique, innovative                   2004 and
training supports aimed at            Development          Town and Country Homes                 products for Galway City            Ongoing
increasing product innovation and     Company and Galway   Association, Irish Farm Holidays       and County                          thereafter
diversification among new and         Mayo Institute of    Association, B&B operators, Public     Increased returns from
existing product/service providers,   Technology           and Private Coach operators,           existing product base
including touring guides                                   Private Trade Sector, The Western      Increased dispersal of
                                                           Development Tourism Programme          tourism throughout the
                                                           Ireland West Tourism                   County
                                                                                                  Increased average length of
                                                                                                  stay
Action 3.2.2                          Lead Agency          Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                               Date

Identify specialists in given areas   Galway City and      Ireland West Tourism                   Increased information                2004 and
and use their expertise to develop    County Tourism                                              presented prior to product           ongoing
products throughout Galway City       Committee                                                   development decisions                thereafter
and County

Action 3.2.3                          Lead Agency          Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                               Date
Review existing and potential         Ireland West Tourism Fáilte Ireland, Galway City and        Marketing of Galway as          •    Products
products in Galway City and                                County Tourism Committee,              leading family friendly              reviewed
County for inclusion in jointly                            Galway Town and Country Homes          destination                          by May
marketed Family/Children’s                                 Association, Irish Farm Holidays       Promotion of existing                2004
Tourism Trail, promoted via web-                           Association, Museum and Tourism        family/child friendly
sites, brochures and a diversity of                        Product Providers                      facilities
media                                                                                             Increased family day trips to
                                                                                                  the City and County



                                                                            59
                                                                                       Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action



Action 3.2.4                     Lead Agency               Indicative Support                  Outputs / Outcomes                  Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                                Date

Upgrade local environment via    Galway City Council,      Galway City and County Tourism        Enhanced local environment          Ongoing
Urban and Village Renewal        Galway County Council     Committee                             Increased returns from
Schemes                                                                                          existing product base

Action 3.2.5                     Lead Agency               Indicative Support                  Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                              Date

Within the context of the City   Galway City Council,      Ireland West Tourism, Galway          Development of quality and          September
and County Arts Plans:           Galway County Council     Rural Development Company,            diverse arts/cultural events in     2004 and
provide targeted training        AOIFE and Údarás na       Galway East Tourism, Connemara        Galway                              ongoing
support to enhance the           Gaeltachta                Tourism, AOIFE (Association of        Increased awareness of              thereafter
diversity and quality of local                             Irish Festival Events), Galway        Galway as a leading location
and international festivals in                             Arts Festival and the Galway City     for cultural and arts events
Galway City and County and                                 and County Tourism Committee
further develop Galway’s
festival products, drawing on
baseline research currently
being undertaken by AOIFE

Action 3.2.6                     Lead Agency               Indicative Support               Outputs / Outcomes                   Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                              Date

Support the implementation of     Galway City and County   Fáilte Ireland, Ireland West         Recognised cluster of products       December
the Ecclesiastical Heritage Trail Tourism Committee        Tourism, Galway County               in East Galway                       2004
and associated built, natural and                          Council, Department of the           Increased length of stay in
cultural products in East Galway                           Environment and Local                rural areas
                                                           Government, the Heritage             Increased occupancy rates and
                                                           Council, Galway East Tourism,        tourism revenue
                                                           Church Bodies, Galway City
                                                           and County Community Fora




                                                                           60
                                                                                     Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Action 3.2.7                     Lead Agency               Indicative Support              Outputs / Outcomes                     Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                               Date
Influence planning policies   Galway City & County         Galway City and County                Improved recreational              May 2004
aimed at increasing the range Tourism Committee            Councils, Galway City and             amenities for locals and           and ongoing
of walking and cycling trails                              County Councils, Community            tourists alike                     thereafter
throughout Galway City and                                 Fora, Galway Rural                    Alternative modes of transport
County, encouraging the                                    Development Company, Galway           on offer
participation of local                                     East Tourism, The Western             Increased returns from a
communities and tour                                       Development Tourism                   National project
operators in developments                                  Programme, the Heritage
such as the O'Sullivan Beara                               Council
Walking Route, the Beara
Breifne Greenway and the Slí
na Sláinte walkways

Action 3.2.8                     Lead Agency               Indicative Support                  Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                            Date

Support the development of       Galway City and County    Ireland West Tourism,                 Preservation of the West’s and     December
nature/wildlife habitats and     Tourism Committee         Department of Environment and         Galway’s natural habitats          2003 and
trails, preserving and                                     Local Government, Coillte,            Sustainable tourism                ongoing
developing the West of Ireland                             Galway City and County                development through the            thereafter
as a land and seascape of                                  Councils, Galway City and             conservation of the natural
unspoilt natural beauty                                    County Community Fora, the            environment
                                                           Natural Environment and               Sustainable development of
                                                           Waterways Group of the Galway         special interest tourism
                                                           City Development Board                products
Action 3.2.9                     Lead Agency               Indicative Support                  Outputs / Outcomes                 Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                               Date
Develop and implement            Galway City Council and   Galway City and County          •     Continued sustainable              Ongoing
sensitive planning policies      Galway County Council     Tourism Committee                     development of Galway City
aimed at protecting areas of                                                                     and County
high visual amenity                                                                        •     Preservation of high visual
                                                                                                 amenity areas




                                                                          61
                                                                                   Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Action 3.2.10                  Lead Agency             Indicative Support              Outputs / Outcomes                   Completion
                                                       Agencies                                                             Date
Work in partnership with       Galway County Council   Galway City and County             Continued implementation             Ongoing
local communities to prevent                           Tourism Committee                  of relevant policies and
the abandonment of disused                                                                planning regulations
vehicles and machinery,                                                                   Increased waste
which spoil the natural                                                                   management infrastructure
landscape of the County                                                                   throughout the County

Action 3.2.11                  Lead Agency             Indicative Support              Outputs / Outcomes                   Completion
                                                       Agencies                                                             Date
Create a ‘Walking Through      Western Development     Galway Rural Development           Sustainable, community               2004
Time’ landscape                Tourism programme       Company                            owned project which is part
interpretation project in                                                                 of a wider regional network
Glinsk, Co. Galway

Action 3.2.12                  Lead Agency             Indicative Support              Outputs / Outcomes                   Completion
                                                       Agencies                                                             Date
Support the development and    Western Development     Galway Rural Development          Delivery of a sustainable             Commence
implementation, within Galway, Tourism Programme       Company, Galway County            ‘Green Box’ in specific regions       partnership
of relevant strategic actions                          Council, Ireland West Tourism     of Galway                             building and
contained in ‘The Green Box’,                                                            Enhanced tourism product              scoping late
Eco-Tourism Action Plan, as                                                              base                                  2003
produced by the Western                                                                  Sustainable development of
Development Tourism                                                                      tourism in Galway
Programme

Action 3.2.13                  Lead Agency             Indicative Support              Outputs / Outcomes                  Completion
                                                       Agencies                                                            Date
Support Tourism and         Meithal Forbartha na       Gaelsaoire, Galway City and        Development of cultural             Developed by
Environmental initiatives   Gaeltachta                 County VEC’s, Galway City          tourism packages                    2006
which encourage and sustain                            Council, Galway County
traditional language and                               Council, Comhdháil Oileann na
culture                                                hÉireann




                                                                       62
                                                                                             Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Product Development                   To establish Galway City and County, through targeted investment, as a
Objective 3.3                         leading National and European water-based activity destination
Action 3.3.1                         Lead Agency             Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                             Agencies                                                             Date
Prioritise and implement a           Galway City and         The Marine Institute, Ireland West     Increased range of tourism      December
series of Primary and                County Tourism          Tourism, Galway City and County        infrastructure in the           2003 and
Secondary water-based                Committee               Councils, Údarás na Gaeltachta,        County                          ongoing
projects, as identified in 'Water-                           Galway Rural Development               Promotion of the natural        thereafter
based Tourism - A Strategic                                  Company, NUI, Galway, Galway           water-based resources of
Vision for Galway'                                           Mayo Institute of Technology,          Galway
                                                             Western Regional Fisheries Board,      Implementation of an
                                                             The Western Development                agreed Action Plan
                                                             Tourism Programme, Galway
                                                             Harbour Company, Department of
                                                             Community, Rural and Gaeltacht
                                                             Affairs
Action 3.3.2                          Lead Agency            Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                             Agencies                                                             Date
Support and promote planned           Galway Harbour         Galway City and County Tourism           Increased product base         Ongoing
developments in Galway City in        Company                Committee                                and development of 26
order to facilitate increased                                                                         berthing spaces - subject
services, berthing capacity and                                                                       to receipt of national
associated services                                                                                   funding

Action 3.3.3                          Lead Agency             Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes             Completion
                                                              Agencies                                                            Date

Implement amenity schemes at          Galway City Council,     Galway City and County Tourism          Enhanced local physical        Ongoing
beaches, lakes and scenic areas       Galway County            Committee                               environment
throughout Galway                     Council                                                          Increased local
                                                                                                       community pride
                                                                                                       Maximum return from
                                                                                                       existing product base




                                                                                 63
                                                                                         Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Action 3.3.4                         Lead Agency       Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                       Agencies                                                               Date

Secure 'Major Attractor' funding    Ireland West       Shannon Development, Galway            Comprehensive Business            December
to implement the Lough Derg         Tourism and        East Tourism, Fáilte Ireland,          and Development Plan for          2003
Tourism Study and develop           Galway County      Department of the Environment          Lough Derg
marina, walking and other           Council            and Local Government,                  Agreed signage and
facilities in South Galway                             Department of Arts, Sport and          standards in amenity
                                                       Tourism, Clare County Council          development for Lough Derg
                                                       North Tipperary County Council         by each Local Authority
                                                                                              Increased funding and
                                                                                              revenue to the region
                                                                                              Recognition of Lough Derg
                                                                                              as a National flagship
                                                                                              amenity
Action 3.3.5                         Lead Agency       Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                       Agencies                                                               Date
Encourage and support               Western Regional   Meithal Forbartha na                   Identification of sustainable     Ongoing
investment in angling amenities     Fisheries Board    Gaeltachta Teo, Comhairle              Marine tourism products
in the County                                          Ceantair na nOilean, Galway
                                                       City and County Councils,
                                                       Ireland West Tourism,
                                                       Connemara Fisheries, Údarás
                                                       na Gaeltachta, Galway Rural
                                                       Development Company, Galway
                                                       City and County Community
                                                       Fora, Private Product Providers
Action 3.3.6                        Lead Agency        Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes                Completion
                                                       Agencies                                                               Date

Further achieve and promote        Galway City and     Galway City and County                 Increased number of Blue           County -
Blue Flag status for beaches in    County Councils     Tourism Committee                      Flag beaches throughout            ongoing /City
Galway City and County                                                                        Galway                             – December
                                                                                                                                 2004




                                                                          64
                                                                                            Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action



                                                          Action Area 4 – Servicing the Visitor
Servicing the Visitor                To nurture and maximise the hospitality and friendliness of Galway, its
Objective 4.1                        people, products and services
Action 4.1.1                     Lead Agency          Indicative Support                    Outputs / Outcomes                      Completion
                                                      Agencies                                                                      Date

Review training opportunities    Galway Rural         Fáilte Ireland, National University        Positioning of hospitality at         March 2004
for the tourism sector in        Development          of Ireland, Galway, FÁS, Western          the forefront of all services in       and ongoing
Galway and implement             Company, Galway      Health Board, Teagasc,                    Galway                                 thereafter
identified needs, particularly   Mayo Institute of    Údarás na Gaeltachta, Western             Increased knowledge and
in the areas of marketing,       Technology           Development Tourism                       information for service
customer care, business and                           Programme, Irish Hotels                   personnel
special activity skills                               Federation, Irish Farm Holidays           Increased visitor satisfaction
                                                      Association, Galway Town and              ratings
                                                      Country Homes Association,
                                                      Marine Institute



Action 4.1.2                     Lead Agency          Indicative Support                    Outputs / Outcomes                     Completion
                                                      Agencies                                                                     Date

Cross-train communities to       Galway City and     Galway Rural Development                   Higher standards in service            2004 and
ensure that they are             County Tourism      Company, Galway Mayo Institute of          provision                              ongoing
knowledgeable and have an        Committee           Technology, Ireland West Tourism,          Increased knowledge of the             thereafter
understanding of the                                 Údarás na Gaeltachta, Galway East          product base
product base that exists                             Tourism, Galway Town and                   Increased referral business
throughout the City and                              Country Homes Association,
County                                               Connemara Tourism, Teagasc, The
                                                     Western Development Tourism
                                                     Programme, the Galway City and
                                                     County Community Fora




                                                                              65
                                                                                   Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action



Action 4.1.3                    Lead Agency     Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes                 Completion
                                                Agencies                                                              Date

Increase the understanding      Ireland West   Galway Rural Development                Increased tourism revenue        September
and knowledge of service and    Tourism        Company, Údarás na Gaeltachta,          Increased referral business      2004
front-line personnel, with                     Galway Mayo Institute of
respect to the product base                    Technology, NUI, Galway, Galway
which exists throughout the                    East Tourism, Connemara
City and County, on a regular                  Tourism, Irish Hotels Federation,
basis                                          Irish Farm Holidays Association,
                                               Galway Town and Country Homes
                                               Association, Bus Éireann, Iarnród
                                               Éireann, the Western Regional
                                               Fisheries Board, Galway Airport
                                               and the Trade Sector




                                                                      66
                                                                                        Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Servicing the Visitor               To achieve standards of excellence in service provision via inter-
Objective 4.2                       sectoral co-operation and co-ordination
Action 4.2.1                    Lead Agency              Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes             Completion
                                                         Agencies                                                          Date

Increase the number of          Ireland West Tourism     Fáilte Ireland, Galway Rural         Increased number of            March 2004
accommodation providers                                  Tourism Co-operative, Irish          operators on trade lists
having Fáilte Ireland                                    Hotels Federation, Galway Town       Increased uptake of
approval by encouraging                                  and Country Homes                    existing market
increased membership of                                  Association, Irish Farm Holidays     opportunities
Ireland West Tourism and                                 Association, Galway East             Enhanced accommodation
other relevant bodies                                    Tourism and Connemara West           standards
                                                         Tourism
Action 4.2.2                    Lead Agency              Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes             Completion
                                                         Agencies                                                          Date

Increase the number of          Galway City and County   The Western Development               Increased number of            Ongoing
service providers awarded       Tourism Committee        Tourism Programme, Fáilte             quality awards
recognised standards of                                  Ireland, Irish Hotels Federation      Increased repeat and
excellence in the fields of                              Galway Town and Country               referral business
customer care, food,                                     Homes Association, Irish Farm
environmental sustainability,                            Holidays Association
cultural development and
accommodation provision
etc.
Action 4.2.3                    Lead Agency              Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes             Completion
                                                         Agencies                                                          Date
Audit training needs of the     Ireland West Tourism     Fáilte Ireland, Galway City &         Increased standards in        September
top and bottom ten Galway                                County Tourism Committee, The         service provision             2004
City and County Tourism                                  Western Development Tourism           Enhancement of the
attractions and put in place                             Programme                             existing product base
a targeted support                                                                              Increased revenue to the
programme to advance                                                                           Tourism Sector
standards of excellence




                                                                            67
                                                                                       Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Servicing the Visitor              To further develop Galway as a ‘Value for Money’ destination
Objective 4.3
Action 4.3.1                       Lead Agency       Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes                  Completion
                                                     Agencies                                                               Date

Increase awareness among           Ireland West      Galway Chambers of                    Increased value for money          December
tourism product providers of the   Tourism           Commerce, Irish Hotels                products and services              2003
need for ‘value for money’                           Federation, Galway Town and
product offers                                       Country Homes Association,
                                                     Irish Farm Holidays
                                                     Association, the Vintners
                                                     Association, the Restaurant
                                                     Sector, Bus Éireann, Iarnród
                                                     Éireann

Action 4.3.2                       Lead Agency       Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes                  Completion
                                                     Agencies                                                               Date

Identify and implement ‘best       Irish Hotels      The Vintners Association, the         Increased visitor satisfaction     May 2004
practice’ value for money          Federation        Restaurant Sector, Irish Hotels       levels
initiatives i.e. tourist menus,                      Federation, Galway Town and           Increased price
discounts, special offers etc.                       Country Homes Association,            competitiveness
                                                     Irish Farm Holidays
                                                     Association, Galway East
                                                     Tourism, Connemara Tourism,
                                                     Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann
Action 4.3.3                       Lead Agency       Indicative Support                 Outputs / Outcomes                  Completion
                                                     Agencies                                                               Date

Support the Chambers of            Galway City and   Galway Chambers of                    Reduced operational costs          December
Commerce and other                 County Tourism    Commerce, Irish Hotels                                                   2003 and
organisations who lobby            Committee         Federation, the Vintners                                                 ongoing
Government with respect to                           Association, the Restaurant                                              thereafter
increasing operational overheads                     Sector
including high insurance costs




                                                                         68
                                                                                      Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Servicing the                   To increase the provision of Irish language services, signage and awareness
Visitor                         of its importance to tourism development in Galway
Objective 4.4
Action 4.4.1                    Lead Agency                Indicative Support              Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                           Agencies                                                        Date
Within the context of the       Ireland West Tourism and   Gaillimh le Gaeilge, Galway         Recognition of Galway as       Ongoing
Galway City and County          Gaelsaoire                 Chambers of Commerce, the           a distinct destination
Heritage / Arts Plans,                                     Private Trade Sector, Galway        from other similar Cities
promote Galway as the                                      East Tourism, Connemara             within the Country
‘Cultural Capital of Ireland’                              Tourism, Galway City Council,       Increased visitor numbers
by emphasising its                                         Galway County Council, the          Increased recognition
language, culture, diversity                               Galway City and County              amongst Galway
and traditions etc.                                        Community Fora                      Businesses as to
                                                                                               economic value of
                                                                                               language and cultural
                                                                                               diversity

Action 4.4.2                    Lead Agency                Indicative Support Agencies     Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                                                                                           Date
Increase the provision of       Údarás na Gaeltachta and   An Roinn Gnóthaí, Pobail,           Use of Galway as the           Ongoing
Irish language services         Gaillimh le Gaeilge        Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, NUI,       location for a pilot
available within the City &                                Galway, Galway City Council,        scheme aimed at
County, with the aim of                                    Galway County Council, Galway       increasing Irish language
further enhancing Galway’s                                 Chambers of Commerce, the           usage and acting as an
cultural tourism product                                   Galway City and County              example best practice
                                                           Community Fora




                                                                          69
                                                                                          Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Action 4.4.3                  Lead Agency                   Indicative Support                    Outputs / Outcomes             Completion
                                                            Agencies                                                             Date
Increase the level of         Gaillimh le Gaeilge, (City)   Galway City Council, Galway              Development of Galway          Ongoing
Irish/bilingual signage       Údarás na Gaeltachta          County Council, Galway                   as a distinctive and
throughout the City and       (County)                      Chambers of Commerce, NUI,               unique place to visit
County                                                      Galway, Galway Mayo Institute            Gain status of Galway the
                                                            of Technology, Fáilte an Iarthair,       ‘Cultural Capital of
                                                            Local Communities                        Ireland’

Action 4.4.4                  Lead Agency                   Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes              Completion
                                                            Agencies                                                             Date

Promote Galway as a centre    Ireland West Tourism,         Gaillimh le Gaeilge, Galway             Cultural Tourism Projects        Ongoing
for Irish language both in    Gaelsaoire and NUI, Galway    Chambers of Commerce,                   Research Programmes,
Ireland and abroad                                          Galway Mayo Institute of                Academic Studies and
                                                            Technology, Galway City                 Conferences/Seminars
                                                            Council, Galway County                  based on lesser-used
                                                            Council, Local Communities              languages


Action 4.4.5                  Lead Agency                   Indicative Support                   Outputs / Outcomes               Completion
                                                            Agencies                                                              Date

Provide management and        Ireland West Tourism,         Galway City and County                   Cultural packages             Centres
marketing support to 'Irish   Údarás na Gaeltachta and      Tourism Committee, Language              targeting a more mature       identified
and English Language          Gaelsaoire                    Centre Providers                         market                        2003 with
Learning Centres', and put                                                                           Language learning as          training
in place targeted packages                                                                           part of short-break           supports
which link to local                                                                                  packages                      provided in
attractions                                                                                                                        2004




                                                                             70
     Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




6.



  IMPLEMENTING OUR
FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION




                     71
                                 Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


                                                           1. Action - Role of Lead Partners &
       6. IMPLEMENTING OUR                                    Indicative Support Agencies
      FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION
                                                         The members of the Galway City and County
                                                         Tourism       Committee,      which      includes
The traditional problem associated with                  representatives of the CDB’s, State Agencies,
Strategies or Plans is that they have in the past        the Trade Sector, Local Development Interests
failed to be implemented once completed. The             and Local Authorities, will act to oversee the
Galway City and County Tourism Committee                 implementation of the Framework. In addition,
has been conscious of this fact throughout the           a   variety    of   representatives    and    key
planning of A Framework for Action and have              stakeholders are identified as Lead Partners,
developed this document as a working                     which     will    involve    co-ordinating    the
document, which can guide development and                implementation      of   assigned    actions   in
provide a basis from which progress can be               conjunction with the Indicative Support
easily assessed.                                         Agencies as outlined in Section 5. of the
                                                         Framework.
The Objectives and Actions outlined in the
Framework represent achievable priority action           Lead Partners will also assess the extent to
areas. Lead Partners will be responsible for co-         which their specific projects are achieving the
ordinating the implementation of each action             stated goals and objectives of the Framework,
while the Galway City and County Tourism                 reporting accordingly to the Galway City and
Committee will provide ongoing co-ordination             County Tourism Committee.
and act as a mechanism for reviewing progress.
Overall performance monitoring and evaluation
will be undertaken by the Galway City and
                                                          2. Co-ordination - Role of Galway City
County Development Boards.                                   and County Tourism Committee

This section outlines three core elements with           The Committee will continue to meet on a bi-
respect to the implementation of the                     monthly basis to review progress updates from
Framework namely: Action, Co-ordination and              the Lead Partners and will play a central role in
Monitoring incorporating reference to key                co-ordinating Lead Partners in County Galway
outcomes and targets.                                    and in reviewing progress and monitoring the
                                                         attainment of targets. In particular, the
FIGURE 5 IMPLEMENTING OUR FRAMEWORK          FOR         Committee will focus on progress in relation to
ACTION                                                   the following key areas:

                                                            Are commitments / objectives being met?
                  1. Action                                 Are stakeholders /organisations fulfilling
                                                            their agreements?
        Lead Partners and Support
                                                            How are relevant partners working together
                Agencies                                    to achieve stated objectives?

                                                         As the Lead Partner identified in both the City
                                                         and County Development Board Strategies and
                                                         as the Chair of the Galway City and County
                                                         Tourism Committee, Ireland West Tourism
               2. Co-ordination                          will act to direct the Committee in achieving
                                                         targets over the period 2003-2012.
           Galway City and County
             Tourism Committee                           Any sub-groups or working groups formed as a
                                                         direct result of the Framework will meet at
                                                         prearranged dates and will report directly back
                                                         to the overall Committee.


                 3. Monitoring
           Galway City and County
            Development Boards



                                                    72
                                Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


 3.     Monitoring - Role of Galway City                    Marketing Galway more effectively thereby,
      and County Development Boards                         reducing fragmentation in order to achieve
                                                            maximum market penetration.
The Galway City and County Tourism
                                                            Improving access to and within Galway.
Committee was established under the auspices
                                                             Time is now measured by distance, the most
of the Galway City and County Development
                                                             easily accessible destinations will be the
Boards respectively.
                                                             winners, as short breaks and closer to home
                                                             destinations dominate.
The City and County Development Boards
(CDB's)    will   therefore   jointly   assume
                                                            Diversity in products and developing key
responsibility for the overall monitoring and
                                                            attractions in Galway, with an emphasis on
evaluation of the Framework for Action.
                                                            sustainable development that will not harm
                                                            or affect the natural environment.
On behalf of the Committee, Ireland West
Tourism will prepare regular updates for the
                                                            Improving service standards and quality,
attention of the CDB's which meet on a
                                                             as well as the use of the Irish language.
quarterly basis.
                                                             The majority of people learn about Galway
                                                             through positive word of mouth therefore, a
In addition to quarterly and annual reviews,
                                                             satisfied tourist is essential. Galway must be
progress    towards   achieving    the   goals
                                                             seen as a value for money destination, one
highlighted in the both the City Development
                                                             that lives up to its bilingual reputation and
Board Strategy and County Development Board
                                                             one where outstanding service quality is in
Strategy will form the subject of independent
                                                             ready supply.
evaluation following a three year cycle of
activity.
                                                            Achieving a more integrated and co-
Ultimately, it is envisioned that the realisation           ordinated approach to developing and
of the Framework will be brought about by                   promoting Galway to ensure that all
increased integration and co-ordination                     stakeholders within Galway will benefit.
between       all    relevant      stakeholders
throughout Galway. A critical issue for the              Ultimately, the success of this Framework and
Boards and for the City and County Tourism               the work of the Galway City and County
Committee was how objectives and actions                 Tourism Group will be measured by reference to
would contribute to increased co-operation and           the following key outputs:
integration among partners. The production of
A Framework for Action is the first step in                 Increased level of tourist numbers and
achieving this aim.                                         revenue

Targets and Outcomes                                        Extended average length of stay and
                                                            increases in off-peak tourism
The purpose underpinning this Framework was                 Degree of tourism dispersal throughout
to gather all research that had been conducted              the County
to date and combine it with extensive industry
consultation in order to establish the current              Level of co-operation and co-ordination
status of Tourism in Galway. This information               between partners with tourism interests
was then further analysed and key challenges                in Galway & the Region
for Galway were identified. Finally, the                    Identification and development of new
Framework for Action was put in place.                      markets

Our overall Vision states:                                  Quality of service provision throughout
                                                            Galway and
 ‘To further develop Galway as a vibrantly                  Number,    quality   and    variety         of
 unique destination centred on its cultural                 sustainable tourism products
   identity and built on a foundation of
       co-operation and integration”

This Framework aims to implement a series of
objectives and actions with the ultimate aim of:




                                                    73
Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




                74
     Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action




7.



BIBLIOGRAPHY/SOURCES




                     75
                              Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


                           7. BIBLIOGRAPHY/SOURCES


Angela Bane, Marketing Consultant (2001) East Galway Marketing Group Business Plan 2001-
2006

Angela Bane, Marketing Consultant (2002) Galway West Tourism Marketing Plan 2002-2006

CERT (2002) Hospitality Survey

CERT (2003) 2002 Review and Outlook

Gaelsaoire (December 2001) Research Report Prepared by: Tourism Research Centre (DIT) in
association with the Tourism Company Limited

Gaelsaoire (November 2002) Gaeltacht Festivals and Events: 3 Year Strategic Marketing Plan
Prepared by: Tourism Development International

Galway Chamber of Commerce and Industry/Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (1997)
Galway Tourism Research Report: a detailed profile of visitors to Galway City and County in 1997

Galway City Council Galway European Capital City of Culture Bid 2005 (i) The Bid (ii) The Support
Material (iii) Programme Development in Action – A Community Response Prepared by: Fidelma
Mullane

Galway City Development Board (2002) Galway City Strategy for Economic, Social and Cultural
Development 2002-2012

Galway County Council (April 2000) Cliften Visitor and Traffic Management Study Prepared by:
East West Tourism in association with Colin Buchanan and Partners

Galway County Council/Community of Árainn (2000) Creating a Sustainable Tourism Strategy for
Árainn (Inis Mór) Prepared by: Tourism Development International

Galway County Development Board (2002) Galway County Strategy for Economic, Social and
Cultural Development 2002-2012

Ireland West Regional Tourism Authority (2001) Annual Report and Statement of Accounts

Ireland West Regional Tourism Authority Regional Tourism Plan (1999-2006)

Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (2002) A Recovery Programme for Tourism

Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (2002) The Impact of Tourism on the Irish Economy: The Need
for a Future Development Strategy. Prepared by Tansey, Webster, Stewart and Company, Economic
Consultants.

Tourism Development International, Ferguson Mcllveen (2002) Waterbased Tourism: A Strategic
Vision for Galway

Tourism Policy Review Group (2003) Irish Tourism – Responding to Change: Interim Report of the
Tourism Policy Review Group

Western Development Commission (1999) Blueprint for Tourism Development in the West: A
Development Plan for the West 2000-2006




                                               76
                            Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


Western Development Commission (2000) Dispersing Tourism Growth in the West: Development
Strategy for Tourism in Rural Areas

Western Development Tourism Programme (2001) The New West: A Tourism Plan 2002-2004

Western Development Tourism Programme, in association with the Organic Centre, Rossinver
and the Western Development Commission (2003) The Green Box: Ireland’s First Area-Based
Integrated Ecotourism Plan




                                            77
                              Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action


    APPENDIX 1. ADDITIONAL
         STAKEHOLDERS

In addition to the members of the Galway City
and County Tourism Committee, a number of
additional tourism stakeholders were consulted
in the preparation of Developing Sustainable
Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action.

AOIFE

Ballinasloe Chamber of Commerce

CERT

Cliften Chamber of Commerce

Coilte

Dúchas

Fáilte Ireland

Food, Drink, Other Business Commercial
and other Tourism Related
Organisations (Representative)

Galway Chamber of Commerce and
Industry

Galway Education Centre

Gort Chamber of Commerce

Hotel/Guesthouse Representative

Self-catering Representative

Sports and Recreation Forum

The Marine Institute

Tourist Attractions, Products and
Transport Facilities Representative

Tuam Chamber of Commerce




                                                 78

				
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