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Fly Union Jack to boost tourism, new report urges

The proposal is part of a document proposing radical ways to reverse the decline in Ireland’s share of world tourism.

This flag could be coming to a street near you...
This flag could be coming to a street near you...
Image: Mark Ramsay via Flickr

FLYING THE UNION Jack from hotels, restaurants and attractions could help boost Ireland’s troubled tourist trade, according to a new report.

The recommendation is one of the proposals in the report which suggests that Ireland, and Dublin in particular, should be more welcoming to British tourists.

As well as stating that local tour guides “do not accommodate British sensibilities”, the document suggests that the absence of the Union Jack anywhere in Dublin – even though numerous hotels and businesses fly international flags – “may arouse in British visitors an emotion stronger than surprise”. It continues:

Following the success of the Queen’s visit, British visitors to Dublin could reasonably expect an occasional public display of their monarch’s colours.

The report, commissioned by the Dublin City Business Association and called Rejuvenating Dublin’s Tourism Product, states that Ireland’s share of world tourism visitors has fallen sharply since 2000 and proposes ways to reverse the decline.

It cites a World Trade Organisation finding that Ireland spends more on tourism marketing than any of 29 European countries – US$9.59 for every tourist who arrives – but fails to attract more visitors.

Authors J Jerome Casey and Felim O’Rourke warn that Dublin’s main attractions are all in their “mature” phase and risk entering decline. They say there is an urgent need for new attractions, and make several proposals for ways to boost Dublin’s attractiveness to tourists, including:

  • A ‘Museum of the Four Laureates’ to capitalise on the fact that Dublin is the only city in the world with connections to four Nobel laureates in literature (WB Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney).
  • A daily public food market in the current fruit, vegetable and flower market off Capel Street.
  • A “culture swap” with Beijing, which Dublin was recently twinned with. This could include a branch of a major Beijing museum opening in Dublin.
  • A Museum of Irish History at the GPO.

What do you think would help Irish tourism? Let us know in the comments…

Poll: Should the Union Jack be flown in Ireland?>

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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