Salvaging the Gaeltacht Visitor Experience for Summer 2020

22 May, 2020

min read

Kayaks on a beach on the Aran Islands

Údarás na Gaeltachta is running a series of online workshops across the Gaeltacht to assist the tourism sector and to encourage the development of further visitor experiences in the Gaeltacht.


The tourism industry in the Gaeltacht has suffered significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the sector could be impacted well into 2021 and beyond until international visitor confidence in foreign travel has returned. It is vital therefore at this time to support the Gaeltacht tourism sector in planning for the future and salvaging the Gaeltacht visitor experience for Summer 2020. By innovating their business models and products it is hoped that the Gaeltacht tourism sector can take full advantage of the short window of opportunity that may arise this summer to attract domestic visitors to the Gaeltacht and to prepare for ‘the new tourism norm’ in 2021.


The series of online workshops being arranged will support Gaeltacht tourism providers in developing compelling visitor experiences for the domestic tourism market in 2020 with the aim of having these experiences available in the next 6 weeks in order to facilitate people when and if travel restrictions are lifted in Phase 4 of the reopening Ireland roadmap. These focussed learning sessions will also include follow on one-to-one mentoring from tourism experts and are aimed at hosts who have something interesting to share and who enjoy being with people and who will be able to adhere to the public health guidelines.


Tourism trends are changing, visitors are looking to interact and experience what a region has to offer, and with this in mind, the online workshops will encourage the development of such experiences in Gaeltacht regions. Visitor experiences may be based on activities such as guided walks or cycles; learning something new such as baking seaweed infused brown bread, playing the bodhrán or improving your Gaeilge; it may be based on a passion you have, local historical sites in the community or hosting a meal using your favourite ingredients. Typically, it is envisaged proposed experiences would cater for small groups to ensure social distancing guidelines.


The online workshops will entail three 2-hour sessions, with workshops dedicated to particular Gaeltacht region. The first series of workshops will be held as follows:

Galway, Mayo & Meath region         10am – 12pm, Monday June 9th

Cork, Kerry & Na Déise region          2.30pm – 4.30pm, Monday June 9th

Donegal region                                    10am – 12pm, Tuesday June 10th

After the session participants will have to complete an assignment fleshing out the details of their proposed project which will be followed up with a one-to-one online mentoring session to put the finishing touches to the experience and to upload it online.

The sessions will be bilingual and places are limited to 15 people per session with priority given to projects located in the Gaeltacht that can come onstream this season. To participate in the online sessions email for more details and to receive the appropriate application form. Applications must be submitted by Friday May 29th 2020.