Sport for Business is to create a ‘coalition of the willing’ by forming a new Irish Sports Tourism Alliance. The group will build a network of public and private individuals within organisations that are key stakeholders in the development and growth of sports tourism for Ireland.
The Alliance was the first concrete deliverable to emerge from the first Sport for Business Sports Tourism Seminar held yesterday at the GAA Museum in Croke Park.
Those present gave an enthusiastic welcome to the proposal which will now be made real through a small initial working group made up of officials from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the GAA, Aer Lingus, Carton House and Ulster Bank.
“Tourism is a central part of Ireland’s vision of itself on a world stage and sporting tourism is the single fastest growing sector within that,” said Rob Hartnett in launching the Irish Sports Tourism Alliance.
“In Canada between 2008 and 2012, sports tourism rose 8% against a general decline of almost 1%. We face choices on how we promote our island and sport has a compelling case to become a number one priority within tourism.”
“This new alliance, made possible through the willing support of members of the Sport for Business network, will provide an active forum, and persistent agitation around good ideas that will bring sport, business and Government together effectively behind a common purpose.”
“We will make connections between sporting events and the wider cultural agenda so that higher spending visitors for a match or a sporting holiday of their own creation can easily discover the best of Ireland in all its forms.”
“Events in the short term such as the Croke Park Classic next August will be explored and improved as an investment for Ireland through building the right kinds of connections to make the experience of those visiting Ireland more memorable.”
“The Gathering has been a great success for Ireland and sport has played a very big role. The first and last major set piece events, for the Notre Dame game last August and at Leopardstown this Christmas, have or will take place against a sporting background, as have 20% of the events that brought a simple idea to life.”
“This is about creating the right conditions so that funding can be invested wisely in leveraging good ideas and making them great.”
“We do not want to sit back and look back on 2013 as a job well done. We have to use it as a building block towards a more cohesive future where sports tourism becomes a powerful engine of making modern Ireland a place where people want to come, a place where jobs are created to make them feel at home, and where the many advantages we have as a nation can be used to best effect for sport, for business and for Ireland.
Contact us today if you would like to be kept informed about specific ways you, as a member of Sport for Business, might become an active player in the initiatives which will emerge over the coming weeks and months.
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