Tourism Projects

Business Tourism-Convention Bureau

The WDC aims to be market driven in its approach to investment in tourism projects. We acknowledge that business tourism is a strong niche market in this region with great potential to contribute to the local economy and create jobs. Convention Bureau (CBs) operating in Ireland serve the business tourism market and attract business tourism in their regions.

According to Fáilte Ireland, in 2016, business tourism was worth €700 million to the Irish economy, which is a 32% increase since 2012. In addition, Fáilte Ireland’s Survey of Overseas Travellers (SOT) identifies that business tourism accounts for 16% of overseas tourism spend in Ireland. IPSOS MRBI (2017) research revealed that the business tourism delegate spends an average of €1,643 which is three times the value of the leisure tourist.

In 2017 the WDC supported Meet in Galway (business tourism group) to assess the feasibility of forming a Convention Bureaux for Galway and the potential to make this a regional project.  Meet in Galway has recently progressed to Convention Bureaux status with the support from Faillte Ireland, Galway City Council, Galway County Council, WDC, Shannon Airport and other agencies.

WDC is continuing to assess the potential for the development of business tourism across the region.

WDC received an Ireland EGovernment Award for its innovative social media platform Yeats 2015 project.

In 2015 Ireland celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Nobel Prize-winning poet, William Butler Yeats on June 13th 1865. Yeats2015 presented a local, national and international series of exhibitions, performances, educational events, festivals, concerts, readings, talks and screenings. Cultural events centred on Sligo, Galway, Dublin, London, New York, Graz and in counties across Ireland. Yeats2015 had a diverse international programme. It was rooted in Sligo, Yeats’ ‘spiritual home’ and included events to celebrate the creative legacy of his father John and his talented siblings Jack, Susan and Elizabeth.

The Western Development Commission receives an Ireland E-Government Award for the Yeats2015 project’s innovative use of social media. Pictured are Mary Keaveney and Karen Sweeney receiving the eGovernement Award from Eoin O Siochru – Manager – Internet Marketing Unit – Enterprise Ireland

From an international perspective and in terms of audience reach, 40 countries marked Yeats Day with cultural events taking place in cities such as Melbourne, Vienna, Montreal, Berlin, London, New York, Singapore, Shanghai, Paris and Madrid. Events included a range of concerts, readings, talks and screenings with a host of well-known personalities taking part, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Adrian Dunbar, Joanna Lumley, Edna O’Brien, Orla Kiely, Gabriel Byrne, Colum McCann and many more. This global response shows the incredible reach of Yeats’s poetry and writing.

Locations of Yeats2015 events worldwide

The map below highlights all of the countries worldwide where events related to Yeats2015 took place. This is based on analysing the events listings on the Yeats2015 website

Collaboration was key to the success of Yeats 2015 – partners spanned the literary, cultural, historical and academic worlds. Through Yeats 2015, Ireland was successful in making a statement to the world about its rich cultural heritage and our contemporary cultural wealth. Yeats 2015 celebrated the poet’s work and showcased Ireland as a dynamic, inspiring and creative place.A series of commemorative initiatives were undertaken to mark Yeats 2015. As a special tribute, the Central Bank issued a limited edition Yeats-inspired €15 coin on 3 June 2015. An Post issued a new commemorative stamp on 11 June 2015 to honour the poet’s 150th birthday. larnród Éireann also partnered with Yeats 2015, displaying some of Yeats’s best-known and lesser-known poetry on DART trains for the month of June. It hosted a poetry carriage service from Connolly to Sligo on Yeats Day with live readings.

In a follow up to the successful endeavour, the WDC commissioned an analysis of the programme and its impact as a leading cultural tourism initiative. This report showed that as a key cultural programme , Yeats2015 reached over 34 million people worldwide, incorporated over 1000 events, and significantly showed a direct return on investment of  million’s  (€4m for tourism Ireland and advertising (AVE) alone), for a modest state investment  (approx.€550K) . This innovative cultural tourism development approach designed and implemented by the WDC (See outline below), is thereby seen as a valid and positive economic  stimulus activity in our region and one which has become a mainstay of our strategic priorities in growing the Western economy sustainably.

Yeats 2015 has been funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the national decade of commemorations initiative. The Western Development Commission (WDC) was appointed as secretariat by the Department to deliver the programme on their behalf.