Tourism Ireland host West Belfast Tourism Stakeholders
Fáilte Feirste Thiar led a delegation on a best practice fact finding mission to Dublin in September. The West Belfast delegation included:
- An Chultúrlann
- Coiste Political Tours
- West Belfast Black Association – Taxi Trax
- Fáilte Feirste Thiar
- Féile an Phobail
- Falls Community Council
- USDT Arts Team
The trip was hosted by Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons.
We began the day with a visit to meet the team behind the recent year on year success of growing visitor numbers to the island of Ireland at Tourism Ireland HQ. We developed an understanding of the various international markets and the extensive work being undertaken to grow and consolidate Irelands place in the global market place.
The trip primarily focused on a range of market leading exemplar attractions which as West Belfast continues to develop our local offering we hope to mirror and indeed implement key learning outcomes.
Our visits included:
- GPO witness history exhibition developed as a legacy of the centenary programme from 1916. This is a relatively new attraction based in the iconic GPO which off course was witness and central to the 1916 rising. Whilst very much in its infancy it already attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors per year and the exhibition is very much interactive, innovative with customer service at its heart. There are obvious connections here as we seek to develop The James Connolly Visitor Centre in West Belfast.
- Croke Park museum. In terms of stadiums and Ireland there is none more iconic than the home of the GAA. A modern global best practice example of how stadiums should be. Team West Belfast took to the field and engaged with local guides. As we hope to realise the dream of a new provincial HQ at Casement Park it is Croke Park that will no doubt provide a template for ensuring Casement is a year round visitor attraction.
- Dublin City Council have invested heavily in the intriguing Tenement Museum bringing to life this critical part of Irelands history. Real, authentic and genuine are words used to describe this new attraction and very much chime with plans by An Chultúrlann to ensure this centre reflects those champions of the Irish language that lived in the areas around Falls Road in similar conditions.
- The Little Museum of Dublin is amongst the most charming museum’s in the world! Simple yet hugely effective. Watch this space as The Little Museum of West Belfast will make its introduction to the market as part of the Féile an Phobail 30th celebration in 2018.
Huge thanks to Niall and the team at Tourism Ireland for their insight and hospitality. We look forward to continuing to work with Tourism Ireland in the time ahead.