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City Council wants an improved Christmas Market to have ‘Instagramability’


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

City Council wants an improved Christmas Market to have ‘Instagramability’ City Council wants an improved Christmas Market to have ‘Instagramability’

The Christmas Market will return to Eyre Square again over the next three years, with some improvements – including the possibility of a pared-back offering between Christmas and New Year.

Galway City Council has invited contractors to tender for the Christmas Market, which is a key attraction to lure visitors to the city during the ‘off-peak’ season.

Christmas markets have been held in the city for thirteen years, but the City Council wants the successful contractor to provide improvements to its offering in 2023-25.

A review in 2022 highlighted the fact that visitors rated the market highly for friendliness of staff, atmosphere, sense of safety and security, its visual appearance and uniqueness to Galway.

But respondents to the survey said there was room for improvement in the prices charged at the craft, food and drink stalls; activities for children; advertising of the market; and the range of stallholders from one year to the next.

The Council has attempted to address these issues in its new request for tenders, which was published last week.

Contractors competing for the job have been asked to show how the market will change year-to-year to keep things fresh in terms of product offering, to ensure visitors have a reason to return.

“Up to 20% of stalls/huts should be new or have new offerings to ensure vendors and products at the huts do not become overly similar year on year,” the tender document said.

The new operator will be asked to show how the market will “provide opportunities for local crafters and independent local artisan food producers to provide improved variety and better quality that will make the market unique to Galway”.

The Council has asked that the Christmas Market have “Instagramability”, a reference to providing opportunities for the public to engage and generate publicity for the market and the city on social media.

Traditionally the market is closed before Christmas Eve and does not reopen in the lead-up to New Year. But the Council has asked that the provider who successfully tenders for the project will look at proposed dates for the market, including “the possibility of a pared back market running between Christmas and early New Year”.

Other improvements suggested by the local authority include communications with local businesses and hospitality sector, and ideas on how “amusements and attractions/activities for children and Christmas lights can be developed to help improve and build on the atmosphere and visual appeal of the market”.

Candidates who wish to run the Christmas Market have been asked to submit proposals by Friday June 23.


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