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Tourism chiefs come to Galway

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Charlie Troy and Dearbhaill Staundún (left) from Cnoc Suain hosting members of the board of Tourism Ireland at their Spiddal retreat centre last week, pictured with (from left) Galway City Council CEO Brendan McGrath; Chris Kelly of Trad on the Prom; Galway County Council CEO Kevin Kelly; Brian Ambrose, Chairman of Tourism Ireland; Kathleen McDonagh, Go West; Patrick O’Flaherty, Ballynahinch Castle Hotel; Joan O’Shaughnessy, Vice Chairman of Tourism Ireland; Zôe Fitzgerald, Renvyle House Hotel; Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; and Fergus O’Halloran, The Twelve Hotel.

The Twelve Hotel in Barna was the venue for the May board meeting of Tourism Ireland.

And while here, board members took the opportunity to meet with local tourism operators prior to the meeting, to discuss the tourism season and the extensive promotional programme which Tourism Ireland is undertaking to highlight Galway, the West of Ireland and the island of Ireland around the world this year.

Speaking after the board meeting, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “We were delighted to be in Galway for this month’s board meeting and to have the chance to meet with representatives of the tourism industry from the West of Ireland and to hear directly how their business is doing.

“It also afforded us the opportunity to discuss the extensive promotional programme which Tourism Ireland is undertaking around the world this year, to build on the success of 2015 and continue to grow overseas visitor numbers to the West of Ireland.

“Priority markets are Great Britain, the United States, Germany and France, but our promotions are also continuing in other key markets across the world – including Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Australia and New Zealand, as well as new and emerging markets like China and India.”

Galway city and county, its events, heritage and visitor attractions, as well as many other aspects of this part of Ireland, feature prominently in Tourism Ireland’s promotions around the world. Tourism Ireland profiles Galway extensively on its global suite of websites, Ireland.com, which which attracted about 16.5 million unique visitors in 2015.

Galway is also highlighted through Tourism Ireland’s social media platforms – to its 3.4+ million active Facebook fans and 324,000+ followers on Twitter.

In 2015, Tourism Ireland helped generate about €55.6 million worth of positive publicity for Galway in key markets around the world, through press releases, press visits, e-newsletters and various media events.

Tourism Ireland’s activity also includes co-operative promotions to highlight ease of access to Ireland West Airport Knock e.g. with Ryanair, Aer Lingus and Flybe to promote their services to IWAK.

Connacht Tribune

Rural broadband boost

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Remote workers in Galway can connect to high-quality broadband for the first time – following the launch of a new service with average minimum speeds of 20mbps virtually anywhere in the country.

With a simple plug and play installation, and no waiting time on deliveries, customers can be up and running 24 hours after their initial enquiry.

Broadband Anywhere from Magnet Networks is a new mobile technology product which will enable businesses and people working remotely and struggling with basic or no broadband connection to significantly upgrade their connectivity.

Operating on a separate IoT platform, using 4G LTE technology, Broadband Anywhere is not subject to contention and bridges the distance between the fibre exchange and the consumer – commonly known as the last mile.

Testing carried out at a number of locations in Galway resulted in guaranteed minimum speeds of 20mbps download and 20mbps upload while most were averaging between 40mbps – 60mbps.

The tests were conducted in Ardrahan, Bullaun, Bunowen, Clifden, Clonberne, Galway city and Tuam.

John Rattigan is MD of Lafferty Project Managers, based between Tuam and Dunmore – and he says that Broadband Anywhere is delivering speeds of 35 mbps, changing the experience of working remotely.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

At the Edge makes move onto the web

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Special guest....billionaire entrepreneur Iza Login

An international conference on today’s business leadership challenges originally planned to take place in Galway this October was relaunched online with a new focus this week.

Organisers of Leading at the Edge have re-engineered the event to focus on the barriers facing businesses in dealing with the fall-out from COVID-19.

The conference will bring together online, 300 leaders from organisations large and small in every sector from across Ireland to hear from international experts and local success stories on  what’s required to lead in this new environment: rapidly recovering revenue, rethinking the business model and accelerating digital.

“We believe that this conference will provide inspiration, how-to and direction to business leaders in this hugely challenging time,” says Galway resident Kevin Kelly, one of the organisers of Leading at thew Edge.

The event will bring a mix of interviews, presentations and round-table discussions on the themes of Recovering Revenue; Rebuilding Operations; Rethinking the Organisation; and Accelerating Digital.leadingatht

Billionaire entrepreneur and creator of Talking Tom, Iza Login, will talk about how she built a billion-dollar business from nothing, starting in the last recession and what learnings are still relevant today.

US TV personality and author Kelly Swanson will demonstrate how strategic storytelling engages your staff and your customers/clients with your organisation’s purpose.

They’ll be joined by Kevin Kelly, Patrick McKeown and Paul O’Kelly as well as contributors from organisations in Ireland which have compelling leadership stories to share.

The conference will take place on Wednesday, October 7. Early bird tickets are on sale on Eventbrite until the end of July; for further details see www.leadingattheedge.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Hotels peak at quarter full

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John Ryan...hotels need Government support.

Galway hotels will be just one-quarter full for these peak holiday months of July and August – down from an average of 90 per cent occupancy this time last year.

That’s according to the latest industry survey conducted by the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) shows national occupancy levels of 23% and 26% for the peak summer months.

The figures based on responses from 217 hoteliers across the country and was conducted during the last week in June.

Occupancy for September – traditionally a popular time for US visitors – currently stands at just 22 per cent.

IHF Galway branch chairman, John Ryan of the Ardilaun Hotel, said that the figures show plenty of availability in hotels and guesthouses in every county including Galway.

However, he added that the substantial drop in occupancy levels highlighted the unprecedented challenges facing the sector and the requirement for immediate interventions to support tourism businesses in Galway and across the country.

“When we look across the water to the UK, we see the decisive action taken this week by the UK Government in their Plan for Jobs,” he said.

“The slashing of their VAT rate from 20% to 5% is a clear sign of their commitment to support the recovery of their tourism and hospitality industry. Given how closely our economies are intertwined a similar cut here is necessary.

“The UK is not only Ireland’s biggest market for overseas tourists, it is also our biggest competitor,” he added.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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