New strategy can deliver extra 2.4 million visitors and 27,000 jobs for Dublin

(27 Jun 2012)

Expert report calls for Dublin-Region brand

The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) has claimed today that greater collaboration between the private and public stakeholders in tourism in Dublin can deliver a step change in growth prospects for tourism in the greater Dublin region.

The report states that overseas visitor numbers to Dublin fell by 22% between 2007 and 2010. A return to growth of about 7% was recorded in 2011, and 2012 is thus far trending toward further modest growth, which nevertheless will only bring numbers back to 2004/2005 levels – still well short of peak performance in 2007.

Against this background, and following the merger of the organisation Dublin Tourism with Fáilte Ireland, the main stakeholders in Dublin’s tourism industry decided to commission an in-depth study focused on capitalising Dublin’s potential. ITIC facilitated the report which was carried out by Tourism Development International (TDI).

They worked with a Steering Group drawn from representatives of the tourism industry, Tourism Agencies, City and County Councils, as well as the wider business community in the greater Dublin area. The Group was chaired by businessman Maurice Pratt.

Among the key recommendations are:

- The marketing of Dublin requires new approaches if it is to compete successfully against the many top line European city destinations. There is clear stakeholder support for a fresh approach to the marketing of Dublin which, the report suggests, must involve enhanced collaboration between the Tourism Agencies, local Government, the tourism industry and the wider business community.

- Dublin should be presented in its destination marketing as comprising both the city centre and the wider area of Dublin county and environs.

- A Dublin region-specific brand is needed to realise Dublin’s full potential.

- Much closer collaboration is recommended between the many well intentioned interests who currently “market Dublin”. The model proposed to bring this about would fuse the current resources (public and private) in a much more cohesive way and deliver the ambitious targets set by the report.

- While it is clear that European competitor cities have structures in place to mobilise effective and sustained marketing campaigns, arrangements vary, and there is no one model which emerges as ideal for Dublin.

- A Destination Marketing Alliance for Dublin (DMAD) is proposed within the organisational architecture of Fáilte Ireland through the creation of a unit which would have an advisory committee drawn from the tourism industry, City and County Councils, and the wider business community.

- A “stretched” growth target of 6.2% per year is said to be achievable, given a return to reasonable stability in the global economy. This would deliver 6.4 million overseas visitors to the City/region in 2020, who would generate €1.8 billion and lead to the creation of 27,000 new jobs.

The Chairman of the Steering Group, Maurice Pratt commented: “This is a rich prize for the Capital and for Irish Tourism to win, but will not come easily. We are convinced, however, that the model we propose can fuse the current resources-public and private-in a much more cohesive way and enable the Dublin region to become Europe’s “must visit” destination.”

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