Dramatic new tours to enliven tourist visits

Dramatic new tours to enliven tourist visits

Fáilte Ireland announced exciting new living history tours through the historic hearts of medieval Galway City and Waterford City’s Viking Triangle. These new tours will offer visitors authentic fun and interactive insights into the rich culture, heritage and people of both destinations.

Initiated by Fáilte Ireland and supported by Galway city’s Latin Quarter, Tribes Alive! promises to be an enchanting new 70 minute dramatic walk through the winding medieval streets of Galway’s Latin Quarter. Tribes Alive! will run twice a day, Monday to Friday, beginning during Heritage Week and finishing on Culture Night (Wednesday 22 August until 21 September).

Meanwhile, Fáilte Ireland and the award winning Waterford Museum of Treasures have worked together to provide animated tours of three of the historic visitor attractions in Waterford’s recently revitalised cultural quarter, the Viking Triangle. Beginning on August 25th, again during National Heritage Week and running for an initial period of 8 weeks actors will lead visitors though the beautifully restored Bishop’s Palace, to Christ Church Cathedral and through the brand new Medieval Museum.

Welcoming the new initiative, Minister of state for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD stated:
“Visitors to Ireland genuinely want to interact with our heritage and learn about our stories, while also having a good time. This unique type of tour will allow us to cater to the 21st Century tourist. Based on local historical fact and humorous observation, these tours will bring to life great local stories, larger than life local characters and famous local events”.

These new tours are the first in the “Sharing Our Stories” initiative - a new Fáilte Ireland Interpretation and Animation project. The aim of this new project is to gradually enhance the visitor’s experience of Ireland by bringing our heritage and culture to life both inside visitor attractions and in the public spaces of key destinations.

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Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Strategic Development, Mr Aidan Pender emphasised:

These new visitor experiences have been developed on a pilot basis in response to the fact that eight out of ten people travelling to Ireland for their holidays tell us they want to experience heritage. If we can meet that demand while adding colour and vibrancy to our historic town centres, we will go a long way towards ensuring high satisfaction levels, positive word of mouth and repeat visits from all our key consumer markets.”

Mr Pender also explained that nine out of ten international visitors (in 2011) rated “meeting friendly, hospitable people” as a “very important” factor in their decision to visit Ireland. Through this “Sharing our stories” initiative, Fáilte Ireland is particularly hoping to demonstrate the great potential to animate our culture and heritage for visitors through the energetic and engaging human interaction for which we are regularly praised.