The CEO of Fáilte Ireland, Shaun Quinn, thinks tourism in the North West will benefit significantly from the Gathering.
Quinn, speaking in Bundoran this afternoon at an industry briefing for the North West, said there are many good reasons to expect a pick-up in overseas visitors.
“This year in particular, the industry has been given a leg up with ‘The Gathering’ initiative developed by Fáilte Ireland. The local tourism industry needs to put its best foot forward in 2013 and provide those who have come to ‘gather’ with an unparalleled visitor experience and great value which will encourage visitors to recommend the North West region as a premier destination and return again and again to the region,” he said.
“Looking back to the darkest days of 2009 and 2010, it is clear as we begin 2013 that we are entering a new phase of our recovery. Moving from mere survival, tourism businesses are now consolidating and looking everywhere they can for growth opportunities.
“The North West has great appeal, an innovative tourism industry and a good local Fáilte Ireland team. I believe that, with the promise of The Gathering to come, this could be a pivotal year for local tourism.”
Ms Martina Bromley, Head of Operations for Fáilte Ireland in the North West region, said a key focus for the region in 2013 will be the further development and promotion of activities, such as walking, adventure and golf, underpinned by a strong cultural offering linked into the iconic attractions of the region.
Overseas visitors together with matching the right customer segments to the offering of the region will also be key in 2013. There will be a strong focus on increasing business and winning valuable market share from GB, Germany, France and the US.
Ms Bromley emphasised: “In the year ahead, we will be working with tourism businesses throughout the region to ensure that we identify the best prospects for growth and that we sell smarter to achieve the growth in overseas visitors which the North West region needs.”
Ms Bromley stressed that ensuring the success of The Gathering Ireland 2013 – the single most important tourism initiative ever in the history of the state – would be Fáilte Ireland’s top priority. She emphasised that Fáilte Ireland would be working with Tourism Ireland and tourism industry leaders to revamp and reinvigorate our sales pitch to the UK market.