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Galway tourists get their own guide to the experts!

A new one-stop shop for tourists and visitors to Galway to link in with tour guides has been created aimed at making it easier to source qualified professionals of all hues.

The Galway Tour Guides Association chose Tuesday, International Tour Guide Day, to launch the revamped website featuring over 30 local and regional tour guides.

Spokesperson Jim Ward, who mainly leads walking tours in Galway City, said bookings are already strong for this season, which bodes well for the 2023 season.

“I just did a tour in Connemara with academics, and I’ve done a tour of sites associated with James Joyce and it’s looking good for four weeks during the summer, so that’s very positive,” said the Salthill native who now lives in Tuam.

The guides on the website generally specialise in a particular area; they could be historians, tutors, writers, archaeologists. Their main selling point could be they speak French, Spanish or German. Some guides have their own bus tours.

There are 33 already on the website, with queries from other operators to sign up.

Jim was a software engineer who took a break to care for his aunt. He has published short stories and poetry in Irish and English and is also a playwright, cartoonist and visual artist. He retrained as a Fáilte Ireland regional tour guide in 2019, launching his business, Galway Trails.

While he specialises in the Galway walkabout, he also leads a tour of 1916 Rising sites in both city and county.

When work dried up for guides during the pandemic, Galway City Council launched the Galway Walking Festival, which gave free tours to tourists but paid a fee to those leading it.

“That was really welcome while we were getting back on our feet. I was flat out last summer. We are all hoping it will be even busier once the season starts St Patrick’s weekend.”

To contact a tour guide, log onto

(Pictured at the launch of the Galway Tour Guide Association’s new website in the Hardiman Hotel were committee members Marteen Lane, Billy Murray, Treasurer, James Walsh, Secretary, Gabrielle Campbell, Chairperson, and Jim Ward, Social Media Officer).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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