Monday 26 August 2019

Tourism businesses across Wexford learn how to market county for Ancient East market

Siobhán O'Neill, Wexford County Council, Mary Dunphy, Hook Tourism and Orla Woods, Failte Ireland. Photo: John Power
Siobhán O'Neill, Wexford County Council, Mary Dunphy, Hook Tourism and Orla Woods, Failte Ireland. Photo: John Power

By Esther HAYDEN

Tourism operators from Co. Wexford attended Fáilte Ireland's second Ireland's Ancient East stakeholder workshop at the Brandon House Hotel, New Ross last week to hear more about the initiative and to learn how they can target this project internationally.

During the workshop Fáilte Ireland shared research on the market segments with the greatest prospect for growing visitors in the area, namely the Culturally Curious and the Great Escapers. These visitors are independent active sightseers looking to explore new places to broaden their minds. Seeking rich and diverse experiences, they like to immerse themselves in places that offer rich history and local culture, alongside stunning landscape. As such, Ireland's Ancient East is a perfect fit and during the workshop Fáilte Ireland Leisure Sales team provided assistance to the Wexford operators on how to tailor their product to the needs of these potential visitors and how to sell these experiences.

Supporting this new initiative, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD, said: 'Recently released visitor numbers show that we could be looking at a record year for overseas visitor numbers. We know from research that there is potentially more growth out there if we continue to develop projects that are big enough and attractive enough to help us compete in international markets, as emphasised in our recent national tourism policy, 'People, Place and Policy'. Ireland's Ancient East is designed to maximize the profile of the history and heritage in the region and bring it to international attention. Tourism businesses are key to bringing this about here in Wexford and in the rest of the region. I would urge businesses and communities to fully embrace this initiative as they have on the West Coast in the development of the Wild Atlantic Way".

Fáilte Ireland's Head of Programmes for Ireland's Ancient East, Jenny De Saulles said: 'It is hoped that Ireland's Ancient East will attract greater international attention by offering visitors a personal experience of 5,000 years of history through a relaxing journey of discovery in the beautiful landscape that attracted warring settlers for millennia.

'This workshop focused on what local businesses in Wexford can do to move potential visitors from considering Ireland's Ancient East as a destination to booking their holiday here in 2016 and beyond. To do this, they need to fully understand the motivation of these international visitors and their path to purchase.

In the months ahead, investment in a major signage programme and in supports for attractions and heritage sites will be rolled out. 'We need to ensure the experience which overseas visitors will enjoy on the ground meets the 'Ireland's Ancient East' promise. The key to the initiative's success will be how the local history is illuminated by local people, communities and tourism stakeholders.'

Wexford People

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