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    Student Tour Guides Meet for Fáilte Ireland’s National Networking Event in Athlone

    Student Tour Guides Meet for Fáilte Ireland’s National Networking Event in Athlone

    Fáilte Ireland today held the first in a series of networking events for student Tour Guides at Athlone IT, County Westmeath as part of the National Tourism Development Authority’s commitment to encourage and promote careers in the tourism industry.

    The networking event was attended by over 100 education professionals and students who are completing courses in Tour Guiding, or doing degrees in Tourism. Representatives attended from Galway Roscommon Education Board, Cork Education Board, Tipperary Education Board, Limerick Clare Education Board and Limerick IT with presentations including an overview of the industry and discussions on the career and employment options available.

    Tour Guides are often the first local people with whom visitors interact in their tourism experience and Fáilte Ireland works with educational institutions throughout the country to ensure that tour guides are experts in their area, and eager to bring the stories to life for the visitor. Student Tour Guides are enthusiastic ambassadors who are passionate about Ireland and enhancing the visitor experience for those travelling from across the globe.

    Paul Hayden Head of Tourism Careers at Fáilte Ireland said:
    “Tour Guides are a vital component in delivering brilliant visitor experiences for tourists and as the National Tourism Development Authority, Fáilte Ireland is delighted to host this national event. Events like this are held as part of our commitment to encourage and promote careers in tourism. The event is intended to bring together key industry stakeholders, education providers and current tour guide students who are studying the National Tour Guide programme and the Regional Tour Guide programme to provide an understanding of the industry and the career options available.”

    Ruth Andrews, Chief Executive of the Irish Tour Operators Association (ITOA), said:
    “The ITOA represents companies who bring in over 740,000 visitors from all over the world, and guide services are one of the most important of our tourism offerings.  This is a super opportunity for new and trainee guides to connect with leading tour operators, gain valuable insights into their businesses, and take the first steps in a successful and exciting guiding career.”

    Event Itinerary

    • Introduction: Paul Hayden, Head of Tourism Careers Business Unit

    • Failte Ireland experience brands: Ireland Hidden Heartlands (IHH) – Mark McGovern (Manager, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands)

    • An understanding about the Incoming Tour Operators Association (ITOA) and its members: Larry Coady, Vagabond Adventure Tours of Ireland and Ruth Andrews, CEO ITOA.

    • What the future has in store for visitor experiences: National Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions (AVEA), Denise Brophy (Managing Director, Dublinia and board member of AVEA)

    • A day in a life of a Tour Guide

    • An introduction to Approved Tour Guide Ireland (ATGI), and the benefits for joining the association, Máirín Ahern (Honorary President ATGI).

    • Q&A followed by a networking lunch.

    Industry stakeholders attending the networking event:

    • Vagabond Adventure Tours of Ireland

    • Abbey Ireland & UK

    • Brack Tours

    • CIE Tours

    • ATGI - Approved Tour Guide Ireland

    • Failte Ireland Local Expert programme (TBC)



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