Today we took a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and then to Galway City, a town off the west coast of Ireland. The views from the Cliffs were absolutely amazing. Seeing the natural beauty of rural Ireland really put the recent modernization of Dublin into perspective. Our trip thus far has focused on the business side of new Ireland, and so it was very interesting to see the other side of the country where tourism and agriculture reside. There had to be at least 10 other buses sharing our same itinerary and upon arriving at the Cliffs, it was obvious that practically all visitors were tourists. This just goes to show the large role that tourism plays in Ireland. Galway was also very crowded, with more tourists than locals from what I observed. I heard people speaking French and Spanish as they walked in and out of the shops, and saw many re-boarding their buses to travel back to Dublin. After the pandemic, tourism is only beginning to make its come back so it can only be expected that numbers will increase in the coming months. Along these lines, there is still a labor shortage and supply chain issues which may present a challenge to the post-COVID-19 tourism industry. As tourism returns, businesses will need to overcome these shortages to meet the demand. Government bodies will also need to adjust, lessening travel restrictions and making it easier for tourists to visit new places. While they may appear unrelated, tourism, business and government are all involved in the post-pandemic world and will need to work together to operate in this new environment.
Galway reminded me of a small beach town that you would find along the American east coast. The small cafes, boutiques and colorful buildings reminded me of a seasonal summer vacation town. As compared to Dublin where we come across people of several nationalities, most of the employees here seemed Irish. I assume this is because a newer, developed city such as Dublin is a more attractive option for young internationals and Galway is a bit more localized. That said, I enjoyed seeing a different side of Ireland after spending so much time in Dublin. Despite being oceans away from home, I can still find similarities in Ireland that remind me of places I’ve been before which is pretty cool!