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Case Study of the Midland Region SMEs and communities involved in water tourism and related activities.

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Presentation on theme: "Case Study of the Midland Region SMEs and communities involved in water tourism and related activities."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Case Study of the Midland Region SMEs and communities involved in water tourism and related activities

3 Team involved in Report: The Tourism Company The Tourism Company The Tourism Research Centre (Dublin Institute of Technology) The Tourism Research Centre (Dublin Institute of Technology)

4 We would like to thank the following: The Regional Working Group and the SMEs for taking the time to participating in the surveys and providing useful information. The Regional Working Group and the SMEs for taking the time to participating in the surveys and providing useful information. Waterways Ireland who kindly allow us to use Waterways Ireland Users Research Report and for all the additional information that they provided. Waterways Ireland who kindly allow us to use Waterways Ireland Users Research Report and for all the additional information that they provided.

5 Tourism is one of the largest & most important components of indigenous industry within the Irish economy. Not alone is tourism a major contributor in generating foreign earning and sustaining employment, But it also plays an important role in developing rural economies & contributing to spatial balance.

6 General Trends Domestic In 2004, a total of 7 million trips were taken within the Republic by Irish residents, with an expenditure of 1 billion. In 2004, a total of 7 million trips were taken within the Republic by Irish residents, with an expenditure of 1 billion. This represents an increase of 5% on the number of domestic trips taken in 2003 while expenditure increased by 7%. This represents an increase of 5% on the number of domestic trips taken in 2003 while expenditure increased by 7%.Overseas Overseas tourist visits to Ireland in 2004 increased by 3.3% to 6.4 million. Overseas tourist visits to Ireland in 2004 increased by 3.3% to 6.4 million.

7 Changing Consumers Trends, according to Latest International Research: There will be more active older travellers, seeking quality experiences, and with an interest in heritage, culture & environmentally-based tourism, and a growing awareness of value for money. There will be increased demand for customised holidays, tailored to personal leisure or activity interests.

8 A significant segment of consumers will be increasingly time poor, and this, together with heightened concerns about security and safety, will result in greater demand for short breaks in nearby destinations, such as urban-based or clustered destinations. Off-season demand is expected to grow, with more interest in niche products.

9 We are going to look at: Overview of the markets. Overview of the markets. Current situation analysis. Current situation analysis. Recommendations for development of new products & services, and the improvement of existing products & services. Recommendations for development of new products & services, and the improvement of existing products & services. Comments & recommendations for marketing & promotional activities. Comments & recommendations for marketing & promotional activities. Show transferability of best practice to project partner regions. Show transferability of best practice to project partner regions. Recommendations for branding waterways in the Midland Region. Recommendations for branding waterways in the Midland Region.

10 Stage 2 :Research Analysis Stage 3: Recommendations Stage 1 : Research & Consultations Survey of R.W.G Stage 4: Finalise Report Survey of SMES Secondary Research Methodology Used:

11 Overseas tourists to the Regions (2003)

12 Overseas tourist to Midlands Region

13 Revenue generated by overseas tourists to the region(2003) (m)

14 Revenue generated by overseas tourists to Midlands Region (m) The average spend per visitors to the Midlands Region is 399 The average spend per visitors to the Midlands Region is 399

15 Product Audit WALKING GOLF ANGLING HERITAGE EQUESTRAIN BOATING WATERSPORTS

16 ) Tourist Services in the Midland Region (Numbers)

17 Sporting Facilities & Services in the Midland Region (Numbers)

18 Tourist activities in the Midland Region (Numbers)

19 Survey of 318 Waterways Users from Waterways Ireland Users Research Report Occupation of respondents

20 Country of Residence

21 Gender of visitors to Midlands Region

22 Party Composition

23 Purpose of Visit

24 Length of Stay on Holidays

25 Age Group

26 Activities Undertaken on the Waterways

27 Sources of Information on the Waterways

28 Length of Time Spent on the Waterways 3.6 days Average length of time spent by respondents on the waterway3.6 days Average length of time spent by respondents on the waterway

29 Rating of Waterways

30 Rating of Waterways & Facilities 86% Very good or good Royal Canal was rated the highest & Grand Canal least satisfied Main reasons for rating waterways positively were: Peaceful/quiet/nice area Peaceful/quiet/nice area Good fishing Good fishing Relaxing/a way of life Relaxing/a way of life The following were rated either poor or very poor: Children playgrounds Children playgrounds Pump out facilities Pump out facilities Showers Showers Ships Chandlery Ships Chandlery Refuelling facilities Refuelling facilities

31 Facilities that need to be Developed 31% - Public Toilets 31% - Public Toilets 18% - Showers / lockers / changing facilities 18% - Showers / lockers / changing facilities 16% - Improved pathways / walkways/ towpaths 16% - Improved pathways / walkways/ towpaths 14% - More bins / a litter clean up 14% - More bins / a litter clean up

32 Overview of Issues Highlighted by the Regional Working Group: Majority of waterways users do not encounter any difficulties in accessing the waterways. Majority of waterways users do not encounter any difficulties in accessing the waterways. Majority of waterways users do not encounter any difficulties in sharing the waterways with other users. Majority of waterways users do not encounter any difficulties in sharing the waterways with other users. Opportunities exist for water tours in Midlands Region. Opportunities exist for water tours in Midlands Region. There is support for regulatory review in such areas as: There is support for regulatory review in such areas as: Driving License for boats & cruisers Driving License for boats & cruisers License for fishing License for fishing Speed limits Speed limits There is support for improvements & developments in the area of quality standards. There is support for improvements & developments in the area of quality standards.

33 What people are looking for when they book inland cruising holidays: Relaxing holiday with peace, tranquillity, beautiful scenery, unspoilt environment, home comforts, friendly atmosphere, good prices, good restaurants & pubs with excellent food. Relaxing holiday with peace, tranquillity, beautiful scenery, unspoilt environment, home comforts, friendly atmosphere, good prices, good restaurants & pubs with excellent food. People are looking for the Irish experience, to visit heritage sites, a holiday with a different with good quality services. People are looking for the Irish experience, to visit heritage sites, a holiday with a different with good quality services. To unwind, have a fun new experience visiting interesting places & cruise in beautiful surrounding, all in hassles free environment To unwind, have a fun new experience visiting interesting places & cruise in beautiful surrounding, all in hassles free environment

34 The perceived USPs of the Midland Region as a waterways holiday destination: Unspoilt environment, access to the rural areas of Ireland, relaxing, enjoy the green grass, good water, the craic and good hospitality. Unspoilt environment, access to the rural areas of Ireland, relaxing, enjoy the green grass, good water, the craic and good hospitality. Waterway are not overcrowded, freedom in vast areas away from hustle &bustle, & the stress of life. Waterway are not overcrowded, freedom in vast areas away from hustle &bustle, & the stress of life. People – the friendliness of people from midlands & extremely gentle & obliging waterways users. People – the friendliness of people from midlands & extremely gentle & obliging waterways users. Lack of regulations Lack of regulations Free mooring & good quality facilities at minimal cost. Free mooring & good quality facilities at minimal cost. Numerous locations, such as castle, fishing, monastic sites, gardens, golf Numerous locations, such as castle, fishing, monastic sites, gardens, golf Activities & services available along the waterway. Activities & services available along the waterway. Overseas visitors have quick & easy access to the waterways, by using the access points at Dublin & Shannon Airport. Overseas visitors have quick & easy access to the waterways, by using the access points at Dublin & Shannon Airport.

35 The Perceived Disadvantages of Ireland as a Waterways Holiday Destination Pricing and competition with other products. Lack of information about the waterways, limited signage, lack of access points to the waterways. Lack of information on services and facilities on waterways, such as cafe, restaurant, pubs & shops Linear routes along the waterways, people have difficulty in returning to their cars. Lack of hire cruisers and narrow boat companies offering service on the canal and rivers.

36 Based on the SMEs & the Regional Working Group Surveys the following Key Recommendations were made

37 The Following Facilities Require Further Developed: Pump out Facilities Pump out Facilities Public Facilities (changing rooms, showers & toilets) Public Facilities (changing rooms, showers & toilets) Restaurants Restaurants Childrens Play Areas Childrens Play Areas Litter Management Litter Management Mooring Facilities Mooring Facilities Electrical Points Electrical Points Chandlery Shops Chandlery Shops Fishing facilities & Access points Fishing facilities & Access points Designated Swimming areas Designated Swimming areas Return transports to cars Return transports to cars Kids Summer Camps Kids Summer Camps Improved Information Points Improved Information Points Safety & Security on the Waterways Safety & Security on the Waterways

38 The Following Products Offer Opportunity for Further Development: Currently an in-ordinate focus on cruising/ boating activities and tourists. Need for variety of land based activities and alternative water based activities.

39 Products Two priority products which offer opportunities require development are walking & cycling: Attractive walking & cycle routes could be developed, running along the waterways but also taking in places of interest nearby. Attractive walking & cycle routes could be developed, running along the waterways but also taking in places of interest nearby. Routes could be developed along tow paths & pathways. Routes could be developed along tow paths & pathways. It is suggested that guided walking tours are provide in the Midlands. It is suggested that guided walking tours are provide in the Midlands.

40 Products Driving Routes – various areas themed Driving Routes – various areas themed Equestrian – pony trekking by the lake Equestrian – pony trekking by the lake Water based activities – kayaking, sailing, guided water tours e.g. Corrib Princess – Galway. Water based activities – kayaking, sailing, guided water tours e.g. Corrib Princess – Galway. Family parks Family parks Day trips to organic farms Day trips to organic farms Extend accommodation base Extend accommodation base Festivals & Events – increase awareness & enjoyment of waterways users Festivals & Events – increase awareness & enjoyment of waterways users Responsible Tourism – is environmentally responsible & sustainable with a focus on conservation & on local communities who benefit from the local environmental assets. Responsible Tourism – is environmentally responsible & sustainable with a focus on conservation & on local communities who benefit from the local environmental assets.

41 Transferable of Best Practice Structures – Strong need for a cohesive integrated structure for marketing, management & maintenance of Waterways. Preferably be lead by a state body. This body should work closely with the other planning & development bodies.Structures – Strong need for a cohesive integrated structure for marketing, management & maintenance of Waterways. Preferably be lead by a state body. This body should work closely with the other planning & development bodies. Planning and Development guidelines - Clear guidelines on the built environment should be developed. Guidelines should take account of the potential impact of development on the waterways. A transparent & open planning process should be in place.Planning and Development guidelines - Clear guidelines on the built environment should be developed. Guidelines should take account of the potential impact of development on the waterways. A transparent & open planning process should be in place. Training – Information awareness amongst user, local communities and stakeholders is seen as a priority. The development of a Sense of place is a priority.Training – Information awareness amongst user, local communities and stakeholders is seen as a priority. The development of a Sense of place is a priority.

42 Environmental Management – Waterways should be managed to the highest environmental standard in line with EU Water Framework Directives & anti-pollution legislation. Access - Public access to waterways should be seen as a priority, transport linkages should be put in place to facility easy access. Regulation, Monitoring & Maintenance – Policies should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure the highest standards are kept and the product is constantly improved. Safety – Safety on the water should be highlighted as a priority, water safety guidelines should be drawn up similar to Irish Water Safety Guidelines –

43 Marketing Recommendations Dedicated information material; maps, things to do & see Dedicated information material; maps, things to do & see Dedicated website Dedicated website Improved information distribution to tourist bodies and tour operators Improved information distribution to tourist bodies and tour operators Improved use of internet Improved use of internet Joint Promotion by all bodies involved Joint Promotion by all bodies involved Awareness promotion Sense of Place Awareness promotion Sense of Place Develop linkages with local areas Develop linkages with local areas Improve signage Improve signage Development of product packages Development of product packages

44 Branding Recommendations Brand awareness is key to the success of any product. Brand awareness is key to the success of any product. Branding is providing an image/identity which differentiates the region from competition Branding is providing an image/identity which differentiates the region from competition Brand research would need to include additional in-dept consultation with key stakeholders and review of competitors. Brand research would need to include additional in-dept consultation with key stakeholders and review of competitors. Brand should focus on the areas Unique Selling Points example tranquillity, openness, space, unspoilt, natural environment. Brand should focus on the areas Unique Selling Points example tranquillity, openness, space, unspoilt, natural environment. One body should manage the brand. One body should manage the brand. Guidelines need to be developed for use of the brand. Guidelines need to be developed for use of the brand.

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