Platforms for Growth – A Programme for Tourism Investment 2019-2022
Fáilte Ireland’s major new capital investment programme worth €150 million is called Platforms for Growth, and will run from 2019 to 2022. Major new visitor attractions of scale will be developed and existing attractions greatly enhanced under the programme which falls under the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 strategy.
This is the largest investment programme of its kind to benefit tourism with individual grants available for large-scale visitor attractions of €2.5million upwards. It is unlike any other Fáilte Ireland call in that it specifically targets ‘platforms’ or project types that have the greatest potential to grow tourism across Ireland and throughout the year.
The first ‘Platform’ launched on 29th May 2019 focuses on developing Immersive Heritage and Cultural Attractions that appeal to overseas visitors looking for experiences that help them to ‘connect’ with Ireland and bring the country’s culture, heritage and people to life.
Driving growth in the regions through tourism is a core focus of our work at Fáilte Ireland and having top-class visitor attractions and experiences is an integral part of this. We look for every possible opportunity to stimulate and support the development of new attractions throughout the country. Creating a more regional spread of visitors is central to our capital investment strategy, and through this platform new attractions across the country will be developed and existing ones transformed.
This call for proposals is part of a suite of tourism capital grants programmes envisaged under the Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Investment Strategy [pdf, 3.8MB] for the period 2016-2022 and is part of the Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects 2016-2020.
How to apply
Before applying, please ensure you have read the Guidelines which contains all the information regarding the operation of the Immersive Heritage and Cultural Attractions platform. Fáilte Ireland has also developed a Toolkit to accompany the platform, which applicants should use as a resource to help make the best possible case for their project proposals. Both documents can be downloaded below.
The first two stages to be taken in making an application for funding under this Platform are as follows:
Stage One: Expression of interest
In order to receive an application form, you will need to register your interest by filling out a short questionnaire. Any applicant or project that is clearly ineligible for funding will be informed of this and will not receive an application form. Otherwise a link to the application form will be emailed to you.
You can submit your Expression of Interest here.
The deadline for registering an expression of interest is 17th July 2019 at 12:00 noon.
Stage Two: Completing the application form
Once an Expression of Interest is submitted, eligible applicants will then receive an email invitation with a link to the Stage 2 Application Form. The application form will be hosted on Fáilte Ireland’s Trade Portal. Only application forms submitted online via the Trade Portal will be accepted and evaluated.
Incomplete applications and applications received after the closing date will not be considered for evaluation.
The final deadline for receipt of applications is Wednesday 7th August at 12:00 noon.
In order to be eligible to apply for funding under this platform, applicants must attend one of the mandatory workshops below prior to completing Stage 2.
To register for one of these workshops please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that all the above workshops run from 10.00 to 13.00
Additional Applicant Workshops may be held by Fáilte Ireland according to demand. Check back here for further details.
**Timelines for Applications**
- Programme Opens: 29th May 2019.
- Close of Expression of Interest Applications: 17th July 2019 at 12:00 noon.
- Close of Stage 2 Applications: 7th August 2019 at 12:00 noon. (Reminder: Applicants must have attended a mandatory workshop before submission of this application form).
For details on what happens subsequent to this, please refer to the Guidelines which accompany the programme.
For further information on the Platforms for Growth programme, please contact: email@example.com.
Risky Business Workshop
RISKY BUSINESS: A practical workshop to help you manage insurable risk in your business.
DETAILS When? June 11th 2019
Where? Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island, Cork
What time? 8.30 – 14.30 (To include tea & coffee and lunch)
BACKGROUND Small and medium businesses in the tourism and events sectors are facing significant challenges in procuring sustainable insurance premiums. In some cases, businesses are facing closure due to insurance issues. Industry representative bodies are working hard to bring about change through extensive lobbying of government and through the media however, SMEs affected by these issues need to take action in their own businesses now.
Is your business affected by this?
We are ice rink operators with over 200,000 skaters every winter since 2007. We deal with claims every year. Despite this we manage to maintain sustainable insurance cover for our business. We have done this by developing processes and systems in consultation with industry experts to manage risks, incidents and claims. We are passionate about sharing our experience in the hope that it may lead to other businesses achieving similar results to our own. We would like to invite you to a half day interactive workshop to hear a panel of professionals who have informed our processes and systems.
SPEAKERS Bill Cremin- Managing Director, Cool Running Events Limited Bill runs Ireland largest pop up events management company. Cool Running Events operates numerous pop up ice rinks around Ireland each winter. With over 200,000 customers every year, Bill will provide insight about how his company manages risk and continues to thrive in a challenging insurance environment.
Kieran Devonish- Principal, Dandelion Risk Management & Insurance Consultancy Kieran is a highly qualified and experienced risk management professional. For almost two decades, he has successfully helped many companies, throughout the country, to improve their workplace safety standards and to cut their insurance costs.
Brendan O’Connell Partner, Ronan Daly Jermyn Brendan acts for some of Ireland’s leading retailers and he will provide insight on strategies to employ in determining when a case is worthwhile defending/settling.
Ciarán O’Mahony B.L. Ciarán is a barrister who specialises in personal injuries litigation. He will discuss evidential issues which arise in the defence of personal injuries litigation and offer advice to help ensure that the evidence you wish to proffer will be admissible in court.
Glen Goggin- Head of Casualty, Sedgwick Ireland Glenn currently heads Sedgwick’s Liability Unit and is one of the very few working in the Irish Market currently holding the Fellowship of the Chartered Insurance Institute (FCII). Glenn has in depth experience in handling motor, liability (property and casualty) and property damage claims with specific expertise in psychiatric, defamation and false arrest claims. Glenn also holds an honours law degree from UCC (NUI).
Finbarr Jeffers- O’Leary Insurances Ltd Finbarr has over 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry, providing a comprehensive insurance broking service to companies across all sectors of the Irish Economy. O’Leary Insurances are the appointed insurance brokers to the Small Firms Association, I.H.F and Irish Restaurateurs Association.
The takeaways for attendees will be among the following;
● Insights on how Cool Running Events manages claims to ensure sustainable renewal premiums in its ice skating business ● Practical advice from a highly experienced Risk Management Consultant on how to identify and manage risk in your business. ● Insight from a member of the legal profession as to when and when not to go to court. ● How to position your business to secure sustainable insurance premiums.
BOOKINGS Please note that places are limited. To book a place visit https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/risky-business-registration-61148570019. Queries please call 021 2066066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Get Fáilte Ireland’s IRONMAN Ireland Cork Charter and let your customers know you care about them.
Fáilte Ireland are running a workshop near you to help you get the most from IRONMAN Ireland Cork. The three-hour workshop will help you to get an understanding of what value means from the customers’ point of view and to identify ways of ensuring that every customer has a memorable experience during the event.
What you can expect from attending the workshop:
• Understand what service excellence is and how this can affect your customer, your business and local area.
• Be better able to anticipate and identify customer’s needs and expectations.
• Have an environment where courtesy, helpfulness and a warm welcome are standard.
• Increase customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty.
• Create a sense of team spirit around IRONMAN Ireland Cork
Then sign the IRONMAN Ireland Cork Customer Service Excellence Charter to display in your premises.
This programme is for anyone who engages directly with the tourism customer and is fully subsidised by Fáilte Ireland.
Interested? Then check which time suits you best and book a place by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Please register by 29th May 2019.
Tuesday 4th June
- Morning session 9am to 12 noon
- Afternoon session 2pm to 5pm
Wednesday 5th June
- Morning session 9am to 12 noon
- Afternoon session 2pm to 5pm
Venue: Youghal Council Offices.
This Digital Marketing Conference is all about showcasing the opportunities of the online world within the tourism market. It is all about helping people create engaging content, grow their following and to capture the attention of the travel audience in the digital world. It is all about learning from each other as you hear from successful brands who have built their travel brand through innovative digital marketing. In the tourism world, it is all about thinking outside the box with content.
The conference will include keynote speakers such as Marie Toft of Emotionise, Stephanie Lynch of OnTheQT.ie and Seamus Heaney of Visit Cork.
There will be three panel discussions with many successful tourism brands.
There will be a panel discussion about ‘Thinking Outside The Box with Digital Content’ with Déanna and Killian of The Textbook Travels and Ruth Fuller of Fuller Marketing.
The second panel will discuss ‘Building Your Travel Brand Online’ with Triona O’Mahoney of Munster Vales and Tom Rooney of Europcar.
The third panel will discuss ‘Building your brand online’ with John Grehan of G Adventures and Eoin Kennedy of Zone Digital.
Details regarding Fáilte Ireland’s upcoming workshop ‘Selling to the US: ‘Market Insights and Lead Generation.’ This workshop will be very relevant to many of our Ring Of Cork Members. Early booking with Fáilte Ireland is essential, see below.
This workshop will take place as follows
Venue: River Lee Hotel, Cork T12 X2AH
Date: Thursday, 16 May 2019
Registration: Registration begins at 09:30
Time: Workshops runs from 10:00 – 16:00
Cost: This support is fully subsidised by Fáilte Ireland.
The closing date for registering for this workshop is
Thursday, May 9 2019
This workshop will focus on the US market and include:
• Market insights in the US market including key customer types, their interest in Ireland, and key messages for engagement
• Lead generation i.e. devising a channel management strategy (specific to the US market).
The content has been developed following the latest insights gained from a number of sources including Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland market and consumer research, and insights and feedback from buyers and OTAs.
You will learn to grow the US market and increase profits for your business. The emphasis is on the practical application of knowledge to benefit you and your business.
• Market insights in the US market including key customer types, their interest in Ireland, and key messages for engagement
• The importance of the US market and the role it plays in the overall segmentation strategy
• How to nurture business from US
• Lead generation i.e. devising a US channel management strategy that is right for your business:
• National Tourism Agencies and the in-market US opportunities of each
• In Ireland and in market US trade events
• Generating business through Irish tour operators and working out who is a good match for your business
• Generating US business via OTAs (B2C and B2B)
• Partnering with others (e.g. attractions and activities) to generate business from OTAs
• Getting the most out of leads via face to face meetings and social selling
• Trade opportunities (tour operator and OTA) specific to US
• Direct consumer opportunities in the US market (e.g. in market digital and/or publicity bundles)
Places are limited – book now!
Fáilte Ireland: T: 1800 24 24 73 E: email@example.com
An information meeting was hosted recently by Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism. The aim of this was to discuss possible solutions to the crippling cost of insurance in the adventure and tourism industries.
This meeting was very relevant and beneficial to many of our Ring Of Cork members.
It’s the 12th year of Blas na hÉireann, the Irish Food Awards, the largest blind-tasted food awards on the island of Ireland, designed to recognise and celebrate the very best Irish food and drink. Entries are now open to producers across all 44 categories with the early bird discounted rate for entries running until 30th April. Entries will finally close on June 15th.
Winners are always the competition’s best ambassadors, something to which over a decade’s worth of small producers, farmers, growers, bakers and artisan food makers who have won a Blas award and proudly put the winner’s sticker on their product can attest. Cork based producer, Rob Horgan of Velo Coffee said, “Since winning at Blas, Velo Tandem is now sought after as award-winning coffee. We were inundated with people looking for it when we were waiting for our new packaging to arrive. Having independent verification of the quality of our product is invaluable to us as a small producer.”
Research has shown that the Blas accreditation has the highest recognition among Irish consumers and having the award logo on products encourages shoppers to buy – it is a recognised guarantee of a top quality Irish product.
A survey of over 100 past winners showed that 81% had seen an increase in sales after displaying the Blas na hÉireann sticker with 28% of those surveyed saying that they saw an increase in sales of over 20%. In the survey, many winners noted the credibility that the awards gave to their products with one saying, “Tourists and overseas visitors recognise the value of a prestigious recognised national award and this has increased sales significantly online and in high profile visitor locations throughout Ireland and abroad.” Another winner surveyed found that a Blas award helped to build relationships with their customers, “I have found that the Blas Award has been great for communicating with my customers in the shop. They really recognise the value of the award and have faith in it and the other products which I stock which have the award logo on their packaging.”
“Blas na hÉireann awards have a quantifiable impact on any winner’s bottom line,” says Artie Clifford, Chairperson and founder of Blas na hÉireann, “whether it’s raising the profile of a producer’s product, or getting the attention of chefs, retailers or the general food-loving public. The independent endorsement of a Blas award is a recognised quality guarantee that can help get a product onto the shelves of a particular retailer or onto a restaurant menu. It’s also always a huge boost for an individual producer, an appreciation for all their hard work and a moment to savour their achievements in a busy and often pressurised working life. The Blas na hÉireann awards event in Dingle each year has become an unmissable shop window for the general public, media and trade to meet, discover and appreciate some of the country’s best producers but, even more importantly, it has become an opportunity for this authentic Irish food community to come together and celebrate their successes.”
These are exceptionally rigorously-judged awards, as Blas na hÉireann use an innovative blind-tasting judging system developed by Blas with the Food Science Dept of UCC and the University of Copenhagen that is now recognised as an industry gold standard worldwide. Products entered are blind-tasted, meaning that all packaging and identifying features are removed from products before being presented for judging, creating a level playing field for products from both large and small producers. Judges come from a range of food backgrounds from chefs to restaurateurs, academics, journalists, authors, food champions, caterers and enthusiastic home cooks.
The founding mission of Blas – establishing quality benchmarks for Irish produce on a level playing field – is strictly adhered to and measurably applied.
“In this our 12th year of the Blas na hÉireann awards, our sector is more innovative and exciting than ever,” says Artie Clifford, Chairperson and founder of Blas na hÉireann. “Our challenge is to assist authentic small producers to tell their stories by marking them out as special, and worth exploring. Winning a Blas award has been shown to work for our previous winners in bringing them to the attention of food-lovers all over the country and we are looking forward to another exceptional year for Blas na hÉireann 2019.”
Entries for Blas na hÉireann 2019 received online before the 30th of April are at the discounted early bird fee of €60 per entry (ex VAT). The full entry fee, applicable from 1st May to 15th June is €75 per entry (ex VAT).
Fáilte Ireland will invest €15.5million through the local authorities to boost the attractiveness and tourism appeal of up to 62 towns across the country.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D., made the announcement today at an event in Dublin where officials from all local authorities have gathered to be briefed on the new investment scheme.
The Fáilte Ireland scheme is part of the National Tourism Development Authority’s work to drive a better regional spread of overseas and domestic visitors and spend.
Through the scheme, every local authority in the country will be able to bid for funding of between €250,000 and €500,000 to develop up to two towns in their area which have the potential to become a ‘destination town’ for tourists.
With Fáilte Ireland research consistently showing that attractive towns and cities are key motivators for overseas holidaymakers coming to Ireland, the new scheme will provide funding to Councils to enhance public spaces such as squares, streetscapes and markets in a way that will engage tourists and enhance their experience in key towns.
This could include spaces for food and craft markets, areas for town centre events, public art displays as well as orientation and signage to help visitors explore a town’s local heritage.
The ‘destination towns’ will need to demonstrate their capacity and appeal to attract more international visitors to stay overnight – a key driver of spend. To be successful in their funding submissions, Councils will be expected to identify towns that have:
- At least one visitor attraction of scale that can drive tourism demand.
- A range of things to see and do for two days – A town that hopes to attract overnight visitors needs to offer a variety of attractions, activities and entertainment options which can keep tourists engaged for more than 11 hours a day, including three hours in the evening.
- A selection of accommodation – Towns will need accommodation stock of at least 300 beds to become a seasonal destination town (and 1,000 beds to operate as a year-round destination) or be a town that has the potential to grow its bedstock in the future.
- A range of food offerings to meet the visitor needs including a range of options for light snacks, tea/coffee, lunch and dinner.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D., said:
“I’m delighted to unveil Fáilte Ireland’s new investment scheme, which will provide a significant boost for towns across the country with untapped tourism potential. This scheme is a great opportunity for towns which aren’t fully active in the tourism industry to look at how their local economy can benefit from increased tourism activity as well as the physical development the scheme will bring. I am pleased to see Fáilte Ireland working closely with local communities, councils and businesses to create a better regional spread of visitors and revenue, and today’s funding announcement marks a real step-change in the way we look at towns as drivers of tourism.”
In order to support communities and Local Authorities with their applications, Fáilte Ireland has established Development Guidelines for Tourism Destination Towns to provide a framework for applications and set out the key drivers of what makes a town appealing to the international tourist.
These guidelines are intended as a practical aid to Local Authorities, Chambers of Commerce, LEADER Programme Local Action Groups and other business and community groups who consider their town to either be a tourism destination town or have the potential to develop as one. They can also be used by smaller towns and villages with the potential to further develop as day trip destinations.
Fáilte Ireland’s CEO Paul Kelly said:
“The importance of tourism as an economic driver and source of employment cannot be underestimated. It is a unique industry in terms of its ability to spur local job creation and sustain rural communities. That is why, at Fáilte Ireland, everything we do is underpinned by two strategic pillars – spreading tourism across a wider geography and creating a broader tourism season so businesses can remain open for longer. We look for every opportunity to expand the number of appealing destinations that offer compelling visitor experiences with the potential to drive visitors across the regions. Our new investment scheme will provide local authorities with a springboard to develop towns with untapped potential from transit zones to destinations where visitors want to stay longer and experience local culture.”
The scheme will officially open in April for applications from Local Authorities and will close in September. Fáilte Ireland’s regional teams will work with each Local Authority to identify towns in every county which have the potential to grow their tourism economy. They will then assess the development need using the Destination Town Framework unveiled today, as well as the town’s potential to drive a greater regional and seasonal spread of tourism.
Welcoming the scheme, Ann Doherty, Chair of the County and City Management Association EECC Committee added:
“The concept behind Destination Towns goes to the heart of what the local authorities are about: making great places to live, work and visit. The initiative provides a really practical focus to help us to plan strategically for the infrastructure, attractions and public realm improvements that will appeal to visitors and unlock or enhance our tourism offering, including in collaboration with local business and communities.”