One thing the pandemic exposed was the importance of tourism. It’s hard to imagine that the places we visited today were nearly empty a few years ago. Our day started at 6:45 am, waiting to get seated on a tour bus. What was striking about this moment was that all four coach buses were packed with tourists ready to experience The Cliffs of Monir and Galloway. From a business perspective, those four coach buses represent a lot of revenue from tourists that companies like “Wild Rover Tours” couldn’t have made a few years ago. Once we arrived at the Cliffs of Monir, we were greeted by both the Atlantic sea and a sea of people. Tourists covered the parking lot, sidewalk, and trails on the cliffs. Culturally, it was amazing to see so many people from so many different ethnicities and nationalities together. Surprisingly, I got the opportunity to speak with several other families and individuals from the states. I talked to a man from Washington D.C about his experiences in Ireland thus far, and we shared many similar perspectives. We spoke about the cultural and communication differences that we noticed. It was comforting to know that I wasn’t the only one experiencing some difficulties adjusting to Ireland’s communication style.
While I was walking throughout Gallaway, I couldn’t help but wonder how all the small businesses survived the pandemic, given being located in a location that thrives off tourists. We had the opportunity to have lunch at a small Italian restaurant today in Gallaway. The restaurant was filled with tourists, similar to other small restaurants. Many tourists filled the souvenir shops, but years ago, these local businesses struggled to devise a plan to keep their business thriving and surviving.