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New DIY kit could transform your town into a 'tourist trap'

Fáilte Ireland has introduced a new initiative aimed at helping towns exploit the tourism potential of their history – but will it impress the New York Times?

Image: gavinsblog via Creative Commons

A NEW DIY KIT DEVELOPED by Fáilte Ireland could help Irish towns to develop their ‘tourist trap’ potential by focusing on history.

The Irish Times reports that the guide issued by the tourist group offers a number of practical tips to encourage visitors to stay longer.

Measures advised include maintaining and improving buildings, and providing festivals and markets all year round.

Fáilte Ireland surveyed about 1,000 overseas visitors to 10 historic Irish towns. The results showed that people typically spend over 3 days longer at the historic towns than the average eight-day stay for overseas visitors.

Mary King from Fáilte Ireland told the Irish Times that some people may not realise the tourism potential of their local history:

“Many towns in Ireland may not realise the wealth of their town’s historical attractions, and how much it is worth to them from a tourism perspective”.

People are also advised to make visitors feel welcome. New York Times travel reviewer Matt Gross recently wrote about his loneliness during a driving trip around Ireland, saying he felt isolated while visiting Irish pubs.

He finally found a friendlier atmosphere in Bantry:

That warm feeling inside wasn’t just from the Murphy’s, the Jameson’s, the red wine and the Muscat; by not trying to find what I’d been looking for, I’d found it. (Quick! Someone tell Bono!) And, what’s more, I’d suffered for it, persevering in the face of loneliness and the harsh Irish countryside.

Gross’s review of Irish gastronomy had expressed less enthusiasm:

The best I can say of Irish pub food is that it’s filling. Menus may be beautifully written, but don’t let evocative descriptions of cattle breeds and root vegetables trick you into ordering a flavorless Irish stew.

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