Dublin, the capital city of the Republic of Ireland, is an important tourism destination with a range of attractions. Tourism organisations within the city have to work in partnership in order to develop new products and services so that Dublin can continue to attract tourists.
The account below shows how you could explain relationships between organisations involved in tourism development in a UK destination.
Relationships and Tourism Development
Dublin has a reputation of being a welcoming and friendly city which is easy to get around. A number of tourism organisations have to work together to make this possible.
One of the most important relationships is between Dublin Airport and a number of large airlines such as Emirates, American Airlines and Delta Airlines which fly tourists into Dublin, mainly from the United States. The airport has opened a second terminal in recent years. This makes it easier for airlines to operate. It is also planning a further runway to allow more flights to land. This will help tourism.
Dublin Airport works in partnership with a number of bus and coach operators which offer a range of routes from the airport to different areas of the city. This gives tourists arriving in the city lots of choice.
Getting around Dublin is very easy for tourists. Dublin Bus operates over 900 buses and has a good network of routes for tourists. Also, there is the DART – a coastal train line and a light rail system called LUAS. Although these are operated by different companies, the organisations work together to offer a LEAP CARD which can be used on all public transport. Tourists can buy a Leap Visitor Card at the airport, which helps tourists a great deal. All these organisations now provide up-to-date information via an app which is a recent development.
One of the problems that tourists face in Dublin is a shortage of hotels. This has meant that it is an expensive city to stay in. The hotels in Dublin work in partnership with online booking companies such as Booking.com, Trip Advisor and Last Minute.com. Accommodation can also be booked through Airbnb.
Hotels in Dublin also work in partnership with VisitDublin.com. This is Dublin’s official tourism information website which provides a range of up-to-date information.
Hotel companies will need to work closely with local authorities and planners to make sure that there are enough hotel rooms in the future.
Most of the attractions in Dublin are purpose-built, such as museums and art galleries. There are also open spaces and the River Liffey, where people like to walk along its banks. The most popular attraction is the Guinness Storehouse.
‘Guinness Storehouse, the "Home of Guinness", is Dublin's most popular tourist attraction. A converted brewing factory, it is now a Guinness museum, incorporating elements from the old brewing factory to explain the history of Guinness production. Some of the old brewing equipment is on show, as well as stout ingredients, brewing techniques, advertising methods and storage devices.
The exhibition takes place over 7 floors, in a building the shape of a 14 million-pint glass of Guinness. The final floor is the Gravity Bar, which has an almost complete panorama over the city, where visitors can indulge in a free pint of Guinness.’
The Guinness Storehouse is the ‘must-do’ attraction in Dublin. Tickets for the attraction can be bought on many sites such as Trip Advisor and there are a number of different tours which visitors can choose to take.
Many of the top attractions in Dublin, in partnership with tourist buses and other organisations, are involved in the Dublin Pass.
The Dublin Pass is a sightseeing package which gives visitors free entry to over 30
top attractions, museums and monuments in Dublin, as well as a free 24 Hour hop on, hop off bus tour. With other benefits like Fast Track Entry and a free one-way airport transfer included, it’s the best way to explore Dublin, saving tourists both time and money.
A recent development is that people who buy the Dublin Pass can now download the pass directly on to their smartphone. The mobile pass will contain a unique QR code which lets visitors enter the attractions for free. This saves the pass being sent by post to the visitor before they arrive in the city. This is a very interesting development especially with young adults, which is one of the biggest groups of visitors to Dublin.
TICs and tourist boards
There are a number of organisations providing tourist information on Dublin. Tourism Ireland works in partnership with Failte Ireland (the Republic of Ireland tourist board) and Tourism Northern Ireland. The organisations work in partnership to support the Tourism Ireland website.
VisitDublin.com is the official tourism information website providing a wide range of information to help tourists make the most of their visit to the city. The main visitor centre in Suffolk Street provides a range of information in four languages and sells the Dublin Pass.
However, the Dublin Visitors Centre is not an ‘official’ visitor centre but is a private operation which sells discounted tickets to attractions, as shown below.
The major attractions and other tourism organisations have to work in partnership with all of the public and private sector organisations which sell tickets for the attractions in Dublin. A good example of this is the sightseeing ‘hop on, hop off’ bus tour of the city (shown above). A 15% discount is available for tickets bought at the Dublin Visitor Centre.
These relationships are good news for tourists, especially those who can organise their visit in advance, rather than just turn up at the entrance of attractions. The sightseeing bus and the Dublin Pass provides an excellent way for tourists to get good value out of their visit to the city.
Dublin City Council has developed a plan for the development of tourism in the city for the next few years. If the plan is to be successful, the council will need to work with a number of partners.
The plan has three parts:
- To improve the visitor experience by creating a safe city which welcomes people from all over the world
- To improve the visitor experience by creating a diverse and vibrant culture
- To make the city more connected by improving public transport, cycling and walking facilities.
The plan has a number of objectives, and many of these will not be met unless the council can work in partnership with a wide range of organisations. The objectives include:
- To create a world class pedestrian-friendly city – to do this the city council may have to work with other authorities and transport organisations to decide which parts of the city can be pedestrianised.
- To promote Dublin as a city of events – to do this the council will need to work in partnership with the owners of the two major stadiums, Croke Park and the Aviva Stadium, as well as the large theatres such as the 3 Arena.
- Promote Dublin as a city of literature – Dublin has been designated by UNESCO as a city of literature and the council wants to build on this status to promote tourism.
- Attract more visitors to the city – The hope is to grow tourist numbers by 7% each year. To do this, the city council will need to work closely in partnership with tourism bodies such as Dublin Tourism, Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland as well as major organisations such as Dublin Airport. It will also need to work closely with planners and accommodation providers to open more hotels in the city, because at the moment the lack of tourist accommodation is a major problem.
- Develop a vibrant food culture – opening new cafes and restaurants serving different types of food is a great idea because it will give tourists far more choice. The council will need to work in partnership with a range of restaurants.
- Expand the public transport system – the city council cannot do this without working in partnership with transport providers such as Dublin Bus and DART. Making the city easily accessible by public transport is a great idea and will reduce environmental impacts.
- Develop a walking city – Visit Dublin has developed The Dublin Trail which is a discovery walk through the city, which tourists can download as an app. It’s a great idea to develop more ways in which mobile technology and apps can be used to provide information to tourists.
- Develop a cycling city – the council wants to extend the Dublin Bikes cycle hire system recently introduced in the city. This is a great example of tourism organisations working in partnership. The scheme is sponsored by the food chain Just Eat and the Leap Visitor Card can also be used to pay for the bikes.
One of the most important pressure groups in Dublin is the Dublin Civic Trust. This charity works to make sure that the fine buildings which are such an important part of the appeal of Dublin are preserved and protected. The charity works to protect historic buildings which are threatened by development.
The charity believes that Dublin has a great deal to offer as one of the most important European cities in terms of historic buildings and social history. The varied character of the buildings in the city could be used to attract more visitors in the future.