UK Government's Tourism Recovery Plan
It is worth looking at the UK Government plan for tourism recovery.
In looking at this strategy domestic visitors were divided into several segments of demographics and interests. They all have different needs and wants and offer opportunities for tourist guides to tailor their tours to the different segments.
Looking towards the future the tourism sector in Northern Ireland will be seeking to compete and win in a number of markets and with a range of segments. Tourist guides need to understand both the differences and similarities that exist amongst segments in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and international markets. This will help you to develop tailored tours.
There is a wealth of information available in international and national reports on the future of tourism and the staycation market.
For more information visit:
It is necessary to develop peoples’ knowledge of what is available. Northern Ireland residents have gaps in their knowledge with respect to the depth and breadth of Northern Ireland’s tourism offering. Residents tend to be less motivated by well-known attractions in their own market, and have a desire to find and experience hidden tourism gems, whether it be a new pop-up restaurant or café, a remote or largely unknown beach, scenic and off-the-beaten track walks and drives, or ‘quaint village’ surprises. Many of these ‘hidden gems’ are located regionally. Could you develop a tour or visit to your own hidden gems?
Domestic visitors are looking for the following:
Events that have attracted both Northern Ireland and RUK visitors in the past could be exploited by tourist guides. In the Historic Town of Derry for example there are tours available already – is their anything else you could do for Halloween or Christmas?
Prof. Karen Harris from the University of Pretoria:
Doubling Up Tourism in Times of Trial. Professor Harris used the analogy of “Macbeth” Double Double Trial and Trouble but with the plan to have a new focus for tourism. It will be a while before international travel recovers to pre-Covid-19 levels. Professor Harris suggested that domestic tourism is our lifeline for recovery. We can make the non-iconic iconic; make a stop a stop-over and link locals to the local attractions. She analysed the various demographics in domestic tourism with suggestions of how to develop tours. Her example of tours of the University of Pretoria which then expanded beyond the campus for prospective students. Alumni and staff could be considered for other universities and colleges in Northern Ireland. Her tourism students included interactive virtual tours, bubble tours and then extended them to other local destinations.
Professor Harris also pointed out that there is a serious medical need, currently being researched, for older people to get out and about again after a time of isolation. They are reluctant/scared to get going again. Could you develop tours and outings for them – perhaps with Care Homes, Day Centres and Retirement Homes? Most facilities have a mini bus and take their clients on outings – could you add value to these? Online interactive guided tours may be something you might consider for the winter months – these could be marketing to prospective overseas visitors who are beginning to think about travel again.
International Tourist Guide Day takes place on 21st February every year. It began with Cypriot guides offering tours for locals entitled “Get to Know Cyprus” – is there an opportunity to replicate this idea in Northern Ireland? The theme for 2022 is Recovery and Growth in Tourism – the Tourist Guides’ Role. Could you develop this theme in Northern Ireland and offer tours for locals next February.