The Coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of ups and downs for the tourism industry. From travel restrictions to ever-changing rules, it is hard to comprehend what we can and can’t do.

However, players across Ireland’s tourism industry actively promote travel across the island; and for Irish residents, a world of adventure can be found on their own doorsteps. To celebrate what our country has to offer, we’ve compiled a list of tourism leaders transforming Irish travel for people on the island. Check it out!

Cian Landers – The Fitzwilliam Hotel

Cian Landers jumped into his career in tourism and hospitality with a passion for fine dining. Working as a chef, he quickly realised his passion for work on the other side of the counter.

A degree in hotel management followed, leading to a jet-setting career experiencing tourism and hospitality across the world. Years later, Cian heads up Belfast’s luxurious Fitzwilliam Hotel as General Manager.

The hotelier has been in the driving seat position in the development and renaissance of Belfast year-on-year. Belfast’s hospitality revival has been driven by professionals like Cian Landers, transforming the prospects of the city for tourists and locals alike.

Irish tourism featured

George Grimley – Belfast Sightseeing

When we think of tourism in Belfast, those iconic red buses come to mind – and we have tourism leaders like George Grimley to thank for that.

As Owner and Director of Belfast City Sightseeing tours, George’s insights reveal a surprising aspect of Belfast’s tour industry: that local people in the city form a large section of your customers, in many cases being some of the most rewarding tour participants.

Now with a fleet of 13 double-deckers, Grimley has put Belfast firmly on the tourism map whilst also bringing the magic of Belfast heritage to locals and residents of the city. “There’s nothing more rewarding for a tour guide than someone local saying they discovered something they didn’t know about,” says Grimley.

Kate Taylor – Taylored Training

When it comes to overcoming tourism sector challenges, few tourism leaders are as knowledgeable as industry consultant Kate Taylor.

The Founder and Director of Taylored Training has worked with over 500 tourism businesses through her relationships with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism NI. Kate emphasises that even smaller NI tourism businesses are competing on an international stage, “whether we want to or not, due to search engines”.

The consultant brings tourism experience in all its forms – “the good, the bad and the ugly”. When it comes to overcoming challenges in the industry, Kate recommends learning from as many businesses as possible, implementing little snippets of each into your own business.

Ruth Chocron – Titanic Guest House

When it comes to tourism in Northern Ireland, it’s not all about museums, murals and five-star hotels – and Ruth Chocron’s business is testament to this fact.

Titanic Guest is a boutique bed and breakfast based in east Belfast which demonstrates the city’s rising prestige as a place of comfort, luxury and good living. Ruth combines these hospitality essentials in her establishment with rich heritage; being based on the site of a former shipyard director’s home.

Ruth’s contribution to ProfileTree’s Business Leader series shines a light on the vitality of Northern Ireland’s blooming B&B culture – and we can’t wait to visit Titanic Guest ourselves.

We live in interesting times. Do you plan on a staycation in Ireland this year? Where are your favourite hotspots on the island? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to like, subscribe and share!

Drivers of Innovation in Irish Tourism: Fueling the Emerald Isle’s Ascent

The Irish tourism industry isn’t merely basking in the glow of rolling hills and vibrant pubs; it’s thriving on a potent cocktail of innovation fueled by various drivers pushing the boundaries of experience and sustainability. Let’s explore the forces propelling this exciting evolution:

1. Government Incentives and Partnerships:

  • Forward-thinking policy initiatives: Tax breaks, grant programs, and infrastructure investments from the Irish government provide crucial support for innovative tourism ventures. Initiatives like the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East showcase a commitment to developing new destinations and experiences.
  • Public-private partnerships: Collaboration between government agencies, tourism boards, and private businesses fosters collective efforts in areas like digital marketing, infrastructure development, and sustainable tourism practices. This synergy leverages diverse expertise and resources to drive innovation across the industry.

2. Investments in Digital Marketing and Technologies:

  • Embracing the digital landscape: Irish tourism operators are diving headfirst into the digital ocean, harnessing the power of social media, targeted advertising, and virtual reality tours to reach new audiences globally. AI-powered chatbots and personalized recommendation engines are enhancing visitor experiences and driving bookings.
  • Data-driven decisions: From analytics platforms to smart ticketing systems, Irish tourism is embracing data to understand visitor behavior, optimize marketing strategies, and tailor offerings to specific traveler preferences. This data-driven approach ensures relevance and efficiency in a competitive market.

3. Commitment to Sustainability and Authentic Experiences:

  • Green is the new gold: Irish tourism is prioritizing eco-friendly practices, investing in renewable energy sources, reducing waste, and promoting responsible travel. This commitment to sustainability aligns with the values of modern travelers and attracts eco-conscious visitors seeking responsible experiences.
  • Showcasing unique heritage: Preserving and promoting Ireland’s rich cultural heritage, from ancient castles to local folklore, forms the core of authentic experiences. Initiatives like guided walks, storytelling evenings, and immersive workshops connect visitors with the island’s soul, creating lasting memories.

4. Improving Transportation Access and Infrastructure:

  • Connecting the dots: Investments in airports, ferry terminals, and public transportation networks are making Ireland more accessible than ever before. This enhanced connectivity opens up new destinations and regions, encouraging exploration and diversifying tourist flows beyond traditional hotspots.
  • Seamless travel: Digital ticketing platforms, improved signage, and multilingual information services are streamlining the travel experience for visitors. This focus on convenience removes friction and enhances visitor satisfaction, encouraging repeat visits and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

These drivers intertwine, creating a dynamic ecosystem of innovation that’s propelling Irish tourism to new heights. From government support to cutting-edge technologies, and a dedication to sustainability and authentic experiences, the future of Irish tourism is fueled by a relentless pursuit of progress, ensuring the Emerald Isle remains a captivating destination for generations to come.

belfast city sightseeing bus in front of harland and wolff cranes
Belfast City Sightseeing has been a staple in Northern Irish Tourism. Image credit: Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours

Unearthing Ireland’s Competitive Advantages

While captivating landscapes and charming pubs undoubtedly paint a picture of Ireland’s allure, its competitive advantages delve far deeper, offering a treasure trove of experiences that entice travelers from every corner of the globe. Let’s explore the hidden gems that contribute to Ireland’s undeniable appeal:

1. A Canvas of Enchantment: Landscapes beyond Compare

  • Nature’s playground: From the rugged cliffs of Moher to the rolling hills of Wicklow, Ireland’s diverse landscapes offer a feast for the senses. Picturesque coastlines, cascading waterfalls, and mystical peatlands provide endless opportunities for hiking, cycling, and outdoor adventures.
  • Year-round beauty: Unlike many seasonal destinations, Ireland’s charm transcends sunshine. Spring paints the countryside in vibrant green, while autumn ignites the landscape with fiery hues. Winter cloaks the land in a serene blanket of white, perfect for cozy pub evenings and exploring historical sites.

2. Echoes of the Past: A Tapestry of Culture and History

  • A living historical record: From ancient megaliths and crumbling castles to charming villages steeped in folklore, Ireland’s past whispers through every cobbled street and windswept ruin. Visitors can delve into Viking settlements, explore majestic Gothic cathedrals, and lose themselves in tales of myth and legend.
  • Vibrant artistic legacy: Ireland’s cultural tapestry bursts with color and creativity. Traditional music sessions in local pubs fill the air with lively jigs and soulful ballads, while vibrant festivals and theatrical performances showcase the island’s enduring artistic spirit.

3. Warmth and Wit: The Unwavering Irish Welcome

  • A culture of hospitality: Renowned for their friendly smiles and genuine warmth, the Irish extend an openhearted welcome to visitors. Their easygoing nature and infectious humor create an atmosphere of camaraderie and belonging, making every encounter a delightful discovery.
  • Local connections: Engaging with locals, whether in bustling markets or cozy pubs, offers a glimpse into the soul of Ireland. The stories shared, the laughter exchanged, and the genuine warmth experienced create memories that linger long after departure.

4. A Bridge Across Oceans: English as a Common Thread

  • Language accessibility: For English speakers, Ireland removes the barrier of language, allowing for effortless communication and immersion. This ease of interaction fosters deeper connections with locals and facilitates exploration of cultural nuances, enriching the travel experience.
  • A gateway to Europe: Ireland serves as a springboard for further European adventures. Its convenient location and shared language make it a natural starting point for exploring other European countries, offering travelers a base camp for a wider continental journey.

5. Masterful Storytelling: Marketing the Emerald Isle

  • Strategic positioning: Ireland’s tourism campaigns effectively capture the essence of the island – the friendly locals, the breathtaking landscapes, and the authentic experiences. From captivating videos to targeted social media campaigns, they reach diverse audiences and paint a vivid picture of what awaits.
  • Embracing digital platforms: Tech-savvy tourism boards leverage virtual reality tours, interactive maps, and personalized recommendations to engage potential visitors and tailor their travel fantasies to the unique offerings of Ireland.

These advantages, woven together, create a compelling tapestry that sets Ireland apart. It’s not just the dramatic landscapes or the charming pubs; it’s the warmth of the people, the whispers of history, and the seamless connection it offers to travelers worldwide. In this land of natural beauty, cultural vibrancy, and genuine hospitality, every visitor finds a piece of their own story waiting to be discovered.

irish tourism leaders

Notable Tourism Projects and Attractions

Ireland’s tourism landscape is constantly evolving, boasting fresh experiences and breathtaking attractions alongside its timeless charm. Let’s delve into some of the most recent additions that are captivating hearts and boosting visitor numbers:

1. Ashford Castle, County Mayo:

  • Overview: A fairytale-turned-reality, Ashford Castle underwent a multi-million euro restoration, reopening in 2015 as a luxurious 5-star resort. This historic estate now blends its medieval grandeur with contemporary amenities, offering fine dining, world-class spa experiences, falconry, and championship golf courses.
  • Economic Impact: The reopening created over 400 jobs and significantly boosted tourism revenue in County Mayo. Ashford Castle attracts high-end travelers, contributing to increased spending in the local economy.
  • Appealing Features: Guests can stay in the castle itself, a former Guinness family residence, or enjoy the modern comforts of the contemporary wing. Expansive gardens, boat tours on Lough Corrib, and equestrian activities like horseback riding and carriage driving add to the allure.

2. Wild Atlantic Way Loop Head Lighthouse, County Clare:

  • Overview: This newly restored 19th-century lighthouse on the dramatic Loop Head peninsula offers visitors a unique combination of history, breathtaking coastal views, and interactive exhibits. The restored engine room houses visitor displays, and a glass walkway leads to a viewing platform, showcasing the wild beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Visitor Numbers: Since opening in 2020, the lighthouse has welcomed over 100,000 visitors, significantly boosting tourism in the area. Its inclusion in the Wild Atlantic Way route further attracts travelers seeking stunning coastal experiences.
  • Appealing Features: The historical exhibits tell the story of the lighthouse and its keepers, while the interactive displays engage visitors with the local marine environment. The panoramic views, accessible by stairs or elevator, are simply breathtaking, making it a must-visit for nature lovers.

3. Epic Adventure Park, Killarney, County Kerry:

  • Overview: This newly opened adventure park in Killarney National Park promises an adrenaline-pumping experience for all ages. Boasting Ireland’s longest zipline, a ropes course, climbing walls, and a freefall tower, it offers thrills amidst the stunning scenery of the Killarney Valley.
  • Economic Impact: The park has created around 50 jobs and is expected to significantly increase tourism revenue in the Killarney region. Its appeal to families and young adults diversifies the tourist demographic and caters to a growing demand for active experiences.
  • Appealing Features: The variety of activities ensures caters to different thrill levels and preferences. The park’s location within the national park allows visitors to combine adrenaline-pumping activities with nature walks and exploration of the breathtaking surroundings.

These are just a few examples of the exciting new projects and attractions enriching Ireland’s tourism landscape. From luxurious restorations to interactive nature experiences, these unique offerings cater to diverse traveler interests and breathe new life into established destinations. By highlighting the economic impact, visitor numbers, and specific features that make these projects stand out, you can create a compelling narrative that entices readers to discover the ever-evolving magic of Irish tourism.

Exploring the Future of Irish Tourism

Ireland’s tourism industry stands poised for an exciting chapter, a future brimming with opportunities for growth, innovation, and sustainable development. Let’s delve into the anticipated landscape, navigate potential challenges, and discover hidden gems waiting to be unearthed:

1. Growth on the Horizon:

  • Projected Boom: Tourist numbers are predicted to soar, with experts anticipating a record-breaking 50% increase by 2030. This influx represents substantial economic benefits, job creation, and investment potential across the island.
  • New Markets and Segments: Diverse traveler groups like solo adventurers, wellness seekers, and eco-conscious tourists present untapped opportunities. Catering to their specific needs can diversify offerings and attract new demographics.

2. Challenges to Navigating:

  • Rising Costs: Inflation and increased operational costs can become hurdles for tourism businesses. Adapting pricing strategies, focusing on niche markets, and leveraging technology for efficiency can be crucial mitigating measures.
  • Capacity Constraints: Infrastructure limitations in some regions could hinder growth. Strategic development of transportation networks, accommodation options, and cultural facilities can ensure smooth visitor flow.
  • Sustainability Imperative: Balancing increased tourism with environmental protection is key. Embracing renewable energy sources, promoting responsible travel practices, and preserving natural heritage are critical for long-term success.

3. Hidden Gems Waiting to Shine:

  • Untapped Regions: Beyond the established tourist trails, hidden gems like the Wild Nephin National Park in Mayo or the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland offer stunning landscapes and authentic experiences waiting to be discovered. Developing these regions can spread tourism benefits and alleviate pressure on popular destinations.
  • Immersive Experiences: Moving beyond sightseeing, creating interactive and immersive experiences like culinary trails, traditional craft workshops, and cultural festivals can deepen visitor engagement and foster meaningful connections.
  • Techno-Tourism: Leveraging technology like 3D virtual tours, interactive maps, and personalized recommendations can enhance visitor experiences, improve marketing strategies, and promote responsible travel practices.

Shaping the Future:

Navigating the future of Irish tourism requires a collaborative effort from government, tourism boards, local communities, and businesses. By prioritizing sustainability, embracing innovation, and investing in untapped regions, Ireland can ensure its emerald shores continue to shine, attracting travelers with its unique blend of breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and genuine warmth.


Q: How will increased tourism benefit Ireland?

A: Projected growth will bring significant economic benefits, including job creation, increased revenue for businesses, and investment opportunities across the island. It can also showcase Ireland’s rich culture and heritage to the world.

Q: What are the biggest challenges Irish tourism faces in the future?

A: Balancing growth with sustainability and managing costs and capacity constraints are key challenges. Adapting to new travel trends, embracing sustainable practices, and investing in infrastructure will be crucial to overcome these hurdles.

Q: Where can I find more information about hidden gems and new regions to explore in Ireland?

A: Local tourism boards, travel blogs, and websites like Discover Ireland offer valuable resources and recommendations for exploring lesser-known regions and unique experiences.

Q: How can I contribute to responsible tourism in Ireland?

A: Opt for eco-friendly transportation, choose local and sustainable businesses, respect cultural norms and traditions, and minimize your environmental impact. Every responsible choice makes a difference.


Ireland’s future in tourism is brimming with exciting possibilities. By embracing responsible growth, innovative solutions, and a commitment to sustainability, the Emerald Isle can ensure its shores continue to captivate travelers from around the globe. From hidden gems waiting to be discovered to immersive experiences and cutting-edge technology, the island’s tapestry of offerings is constantly evolving.

Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a first-time visitor, Ireland promises a journey filled with breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and the warmth of its people. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and embark on your own Emerald Isle odyssey. The future of Irish tourism is yours to explore.

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