Today we rode a comfortable tour bus around to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway city, two places that attract many foreigners, and for a good reason: the views and vibes are immaculate. Tourism can benefit an economy by creating thousands of jobs, providing government revenue, and also serving to further enrich the populace’s view towards other cultures, something that goes a long way in creating peaceful relations with other countries. Ireland has been known to have very educated and informed people, and it’s no surprise considering how many different cultures cross paths in this comparatively tiny island nation. However, a tourism-based economy can pose issues since the livelihoods of many people in the country’s local communities rely on the dollars of outsiders to make money and live life. They also rely on a constant supply of air travel, which would end up bad for them if, for example, a rapidly-spreading disease completely halted air travel for an extended period… like Covid!
The aftereffects of Covid on travel can be seen right now across the world. Certain countries have lost countless billions of dollars, and it may take a while to bounce back. At the same time, there are people that have built pent-up demand and want to return going to other countries, albeit with caution. I believe that we will see greater difficulty returning to previous levels of stability than there will be returning to previous levels of demand.
Now that I have seen Dublin and Ireland – I am saying that as if they are two separate entities since they are so different – let’s consider a sales pitch for Ireland for other people. Emphasize the people, places, culture, and other things that make Ireland unique. Not just the things that are associated with it already, but other aspects that build an identity around Ireland that is more well-rounded and fits with not just the country that it is, but the country that it is becoming. For example, when walking through Dublin, there were a lot of places, like the restaurants, that we went to that were very similar to America and felt more oriented to other cultures rather than traditional “Irish” cuisine (that is mainly just potatoes if you think about it). Pubs and restaurants also offered similar food most of the time, and there were a lot of pizza places and US fast-food chains – in other words, it did not feel unique. Additionally, Ireland is becoming a nation of immigrants more and more every year, so that is important to consider when selling Ireland.
One thing to not emphasize is the weather as most tourists won’t be so lucky as we are! (knock wood)