• Cyril McAree

Student Tour Guides Discover Kylemore Abbey

Fáilte Ireland has held the first in a series of networking events for student Tour Guides at Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, Co. Galway 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 industry stakeholders, education providers and student tour guides currently studying at Galway and Roscommon colleges with presentations including an overview of the industry and discussions on the career and employment options available.

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 event. The series of networking events are being 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, studying the National Tour Guide programme and the Regional Tour Guide programme to provide an understanding of the industry and the career and employment options available.”

Eithne Nic Dhonnchadha, Director of Further Education and Training Board for Galway and Roscommon(GRETB) said:“Tourism is one of our main industries here in the west of Ireland and contributes significantly to the exchequer. In order to continue to grow and thrive the industry requires highly skilled personnel to support this growth. Having qualified Tour Guides at both a regional and national level ensures we can remain competitive and allow visitors enjoy the varied land and seascapes incorporating our cultural and natural heritage. GRETB is delighted to partner Fáilte Ireland and the tourism industry in rolling out the Regional and National Tour Guiding programmes.”

Sebastian Heinrich, a national tour guide student from GRETB said: “Today’s networking event has been extremely positive and informative highlighting the opportunities that exist within the industry and outlining a pathway to develop our careers and secure employment in the sector.”

Presentations at the event include:

An overview of Fáilte Ireland and its experiences brands (WAW,IAE, IHHL and Dublin)

An understanding about the Incoming Tour Operators Association (ITOA) presented by Ruth Andrews (CEO, ITOA)

An introduction to Approved Tour Guide Ireland (ATGI) by Máirín Ahern (Honorary President ATGI)

What the future has in store for visitor experiences presented by Denise Brophy, Managing Director of Dublina and Board member of the

Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions (AVEA).

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