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Best Practice in Tourism Innovation


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This presentation highlights how a local authority (South Dublin County Council) led and facilitated tourism development in the region

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Best Practice in Tourism Innovation

  1. 1. Best practice in tourism innovation South Dublin County Council ERRIN Tourism Working Group Meeting March 12 2012 Raymond Keaney Director South Dublin County Tourism Lecturer in Tourism Management ITT Dublin
  2. 2. Agenda• Background to South Dublin County Council (SDCC)• Work of the council• Where tourism fits in• The tourism strategy• Early challenges• Changes made and key wins• Conclusion
  3. 3. Location South Dublin County
  4. 4. Background to the council• Established 1994• 3rd largest local authority in Ireland covering an area of 222.74 sq km• Population 265,174• Main urban centre is Tallaght with a population of 80,000 approx• Provides a range of services to more than 250,000 people, 90,000 households and over 6,000 businesses
  5. 5. The work of the councilOrganised around four strategic themes:• A living place• A connected place• A busy place• A place to protect
  6. 6. The tourism strategy• Identified the potential of the tourism sector to drive socio-economic development• Developed an infrastructure to support the sector• Established South Dublin County Tourism Ltd to promote the county as a leisure and business tourism destination• Encouraged collaboration between industry groups, elected representatives, the education sector and the general public
  7. 7. Where did the potential come from?• Demand - economic prosperity in domestic and overseas markets• Supply - new air routes and cheaper fares, wider range of tourist options available, and aggressive marketing by national tourism agency• Saw an opportunity to exploit business travel market as Ireland attracted greater foreign direct investment – 8 of the top 10 global technology companies – 8 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies – 15 of the top 25 medical device firms
  8. 8. Infrastructure investments• Motorway and light-rail access to/from city centre• 13 hotels (2,900 bedrooms)• International event and convention centre, Citywest (4,200 capacity & 800 on-site bedrooms)• Victory conference centre (1,000 capacity)• Tallaght stadium (7,000 seats, 20,000 music venue)• National basketball arena (2,000 seater, multi- purpose venue)• Three shopping centres/theatres/cinemas• Seven golf courses• The Dublin mountains
  9. 9. South Dublin County Tourism• Established in 2005 as the County’s tourism promotional, marketing and development company• Grew out of a need for the region to develop its own identify as a tourist destination• It brought the diverse tourism interest groups together into one cohesive structure• A voluntary membership association• Funded 90% council, 10% membership• One full-time marketing executive and 18 directors
  10. 10. Early challenges• Internal and external confusion as to the function of the company• Limited tourism expertise among board members• The booming economy did not encourage joined-up thinking and co-operation between businesses• The membership criteria was ill-defined• Membership proposition failed to attract sufficient numbers• Member retention was an issue
  11. 11. Changes made• New vision – ‘to make the region Ireland’s premier business and event tourism destination’• New objective – to compete for major national and international conferences and events• Composition of the board changed to incorporate greater industry representation• A managing director with international sales experience appointed• Specialist working groups established• New membership criteria and benefits defined• Enhanced on-line presence
  12. 12. Key wins• Membership doubled between 2009 and 2011• Increasing income from membership fees reducing complete reliance on council funding• Profile of membership broadened• A significant number of high value bids won – World and All Ireland Dancing Championships 2011 – World Darts Championships 2010 and 2011 – World Handball Championships 2012 – Disney on Ice and Top Gear 2010 and 2011• Businesses now working together in partnership• Greater economic activity and employment
  13. 13. ConclusionTourism innovation at regional level requires;• Vision• Leadership• Partnership
  14. 14. Questions?