East Galway Tourism - Our Fair Share
Wild Geese East Galway Task Force
The Wild Geese East Galway Task Force was formed over a year ago by a committed number of local volunteers who shared the common goal of breathing life back into the towns of East Galway and fighting for East Galway’s fair share of the tourist footfall.
The Wild Geese are working on a number of innovative community projects designed to connect the towns and villages of East Galway, namely Loughrea, Portumna, Gort, Tuam, Athenry and Ballinasloe amplifying their charms to a global audience.
A network of stunning trails running on and alongside Ireland’s most idyllic lakes, canals and rivers. Taking you into the heart of her most unspoilt landscapes – by canoe, bike or on foot.
As you meander through inspiring, picturesque vistas, soak in the charming rural atmosphere and explore life at a different pace.
Ireland’s Greenways and trails are a great way to see some of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of the country while enjoying the great outdoors.
East Galway’s Fair Share
Following a spell of many good years, the Irish tourism industry has run into challenges in 2019. In the PSA (paid serviced accommodation) sector, about a third (31%) of businesses have welcomed more visitors to date in 2019 compared to 2018, and a further third (33%) have had a similar number. However, 36% report a decrease.
The domestic and North American markets continue to alleviate the effects of the struggling British and Northern Irish markets, while mainland European markets have not grown as strongly as in recent years.
The CSO’s “Overseas Travel” revealed that North American visitors to Ireland increased by 4% between January and September 2019, but visitors from Britain flatlined. The Wild Atlantic Way route stretches for almost 2,500 km from Donegal to Cork and the international brand is starting to get a foothold, attracting Overseas tourists to Ireland in 2018 grew by 6.5% to 9.6 million.
However, Galway East is not getting its fair share. The necessary infrastructure, physical and digital, facilities and promotions must be put in place for tourists to find our many treasures.
The Gathering demonstrated how communities invest in tourism and support it. Their tireless efforts in organising festivals and events and maintaining their local area or presenting their heritage are tremendous.
‘Small towns’ really do have ‘big ideas’ for the future of their area . The tourism and hospitality sector deliver the goods and services which are vital to visitor enjoyment and offer service with a smile. They are the innovators who develop new tourism products and attractions.
While many organisations support tourism in Galway, they have different functions, responsibilities and priorities.
- The government Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (responsible for a national strategy and action plan),
- Tourism Ireland (marketing Ireland internationally),
- Fáilte Ireland (involved in marketing and research, funding infrastructure and supporting businesses) and
- The County Councils (who provide seed funding for festivals, lifeguard services, tourism facilities and infrastructure, litter management, environmental protection and promotion of cultural heritage among a range of other activities).
- Representative organisations such as Chambers of Commerce
- The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation
- The Restaurants Association of Ireland,
- The Irish Hotels Federation
- Local development companies
- Coillte (who provide recreational facilities)
- The Office of Public Works (who manage historic sites)
- The National Parks and Wildlife Service (who manage the national parks)
- The National Trails Office and many others.
- The education sector and national tourism agencies are involved in meeting sectoral skills needs and conducting research.
With so many involved, it is clear that an integrated approach is paramount. Administrative boundaries are irrelevant to visitors as they are looking for great holiday ‘destinations’. Galway’s strongest performing areas and established centres are Galway City, the Aran Islands and Connemara.
The Wild Geese [East Galway Task Force] has been working behind the scenes on innovative ideas to attract visitors from the coast.
- Increase the number of visitors and value of tourism to East Galway
- Successfully promote Galway’s Easts reputation, sharing and marketing the experience of our towns and villages, what we stands for, why we are different and irresistible!
- Support expanding or emerging tourism businesses (particularly micro and medium sized) to promote their products, visitor experiences and attract investment
- Support communities to be the ambassadors of the region – instilling pride, a strong sense of place and showcasing our unique heritage and culture, land and lakelands.
- Work in partnership, listen and and be willing to innovate.
East Galway In Numbers
Towns & Villlages