We have provided mentoring to more than 80 heritage attractions across the Republic of Ireland as part of Failte Ireland’s strategic development of the country’s heritage tourism offer.
Tourism, particularly heritage tourism, is very important to the Irish economy. Most overseas visitors to Ireland visit at least one heritage site. The experience at these sites is a key component of their memories and their satisfaction.
Our response – mainly mentoring, but some training too
Our work has included running ten training workshops, writing a manual, and mentoring a wide range of heritage businesses.
We began with a pilot mentoring programme in 2010. This proved so popular and successful with attraction managers that it was quickly incorporated into the wider package of buiness supports offered by Failte Ireland.
Mentoring has proved a very powerful tool. Almost all the attractions we have worked with are SMEs, often family businesses, comprising incredibly hard-working and committed people. We have been impressed and delighted by their enthusiasm for mentoring and by their entrepeneurial spirit which has enabled many of them to make significant changes.
The ‘Sharing our Stories ‘ manual
The challenge was to reach as many attractions as quickly as possible. We therefore wrote ‘Sharing our Stories, using interpretation to improve visitor experience at heritage sites’ to support the mentoring and as a support for businesses outside the mentoring scheme.
This interactive manual contains practical step-by-step guidance on developing more meaningful and memorable visits at heritage attractions. It includes a range of exercises to help site managers improve their site.
We know that this manual has been dowmloaded and used across the world.
For some sample pages, click here. Sharing_Our_Stories_limited_download