€6m investment in digital transformation of tourism activities and attractions announced
Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD today (29th May 2021) unveiled details of Fáilte Ireland’s new Digital that Delivers programme which will see an initial investment of €6m in the specialised training and digitalisation of visitor attractions and activities across Ireland in 2021.
As only 15% of Irish activity and attraction providers currently have a suitable online booking engine, the digitalisation of the tourism sector is vital to improving Ireland’s ability to compete as a tourist destination on a global level in a post-COVID market.
From tomorrow, Fáilte Ireland is seeking to partner with up to 500 attractions, activities, and day tour providers in year one and over 1,350 visitor experiences overall.
Funding for the programme was secured by Minister Catherine Martin TD in Budget 2021 for this programme which will be implemented by Fáilte Ireland over the next five years. Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD said:
“I very much welcome the Digital that Delivers programme from Fáilte Ireland which will bring a vital part of our tourism sector online and support its sustainable growth over the next five years. Futureproofing the sector by ensuring our tourist attractions and activities are harnessing the potential of cutting-edge technology and are visible to the customer on their smartphone, tablet or computer, is a strategic priority and this is reflected in the €6m investment in this programme.”
Following year one of the programme, Fáilte Ireland will also work with 2,000 accommodation providers to create compelling and persuasive digital content that attracts the attention of potential customers and supports the promotion of up to 2,500 free things to see and do across multiple sales channels.
Paul Mockler, Head of Commercial Development, Fáilte Ireland said:
“The digital footprint of a tourism business is one of the most powerful tools for attracting visitors to Ireland. We know from research that the digital presence and eCommerce capabilities of Ireland’s visitor attractions and activities needs improvements if we are to deliver a world class online experience for visitors as they research holidays and look for things to see and do. Digitally transforming the industry through the Digital that Delivers programme will be key to sustaining Ireland as a high-quality and competitive tourism destination into the future. The investment announced today will make sure the brilliant visitor experiences Ireland has to offer are front and centre in the online space, and that consumers can browse and book with ease through whatever channel is most convenient for them.”
To address this critical challenge, Fáilte Ireland developed the Digital that Delivers programme to provide practical, technical, and financial support to enable the Irish visitor experiences sector to:
Develop bookable experiences if they do not currently have an experience that is bookable – both paid & non-paid.
Activate connected online booking systems, capable of accepting direct bookings on own website and traditional channels as well as distributing their product to third party channels like tour operators, destination management companies or online travel agents.
Enhance their own websites to drive consideration and conversion for their product offering and focus on a destination first sell.
Improve digital capabilities of business owners/staff to utilise the functionality of ‘connected’ booking systems to enhance and streamline the management of inventory, staff, equipment, marketing, communications, invoicing, reporting, and other businesses processes.
Target consumers with the right content, at the right time, on the channels that are most convenient for them. (see more detail below in Notes to the editor).
These interventions will ensure that Ireland becomes more attractive as a destination against intense international competition, drives more visitors to all regions of Ireland and will support businesses in lowering their operating costs, increasing their yield per visitors and ultimately becoming more sustainable into the future.
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