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Walking Festivals in Ireland PowerPoint Presentation
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Walking Festivals in Ireland

Walking Festivals in Ireland

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Walking Festivals in Ireland

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  1. Walking Festivals in Ireland • Linda Campbell • Senior Researcher • The Tourism Research Centre, • Dublin Institute of Technology • November 2003 • Linda.campbell@dit.ie

  2. Presentation Outline • Walking in Ireland • Wicklow Walking Festival - Background • Wicklow Walking Festival - Report Findings • Walking Festivals in Ireland • Recommendations for walking festivals

  3. Walking in Ireland • 2002 219,000 overseas hiking/walking participants • revenue €161 million.  • Hiking/Cross-country Walking (000s)     2002 • Britain                   77                    Mainland Europe                  85                    North America                 48                    Other Overseas    10 •                     Total Overseas   219 Failte Ireland

  4. Walking Festivals in Ireland • National Events • 42 walking festivals • 1. DONEGAL INTERNATIONAL WALKING FESTIVAL • BALLYHOURA INTERNATIONAL WALKING FESTIVAL • 3. WICKLOW MOUNTAINS WALKING FESTIVAL

  5. Wicklow Walking Festival • Festivals developed in 1989 • Wicklow County Tourism • Local trained walking guides • 3 day festival May & October bank holiday • Walking identified as a growth market – walking guide and the festivals

  6. Wicklow Walking Festival - organisation • Brochure mailed to over 1,000 people • Prepaid receive ID no., maps & accommodation listings • Non-profit basis • Up to 4 walks per day to suit different abilities (A, B & C walks) • Themed – history, geology, culture, flora & fauna • Traditional music on Sat & Sun after walks

  7. Wicklow Walking Festival - numbers • 180 walkers on night walk • 300 walkers in the A, B & C walks on Sat & Sun • A – Challenging long distance walk • B – Moderately challenging • C – Scenic trek

  8. Objectives & Methodology • Objectives • Identify methods to expand the festival • Assess the socio-economic benefit • Assess how participants enjoyed the festival • Methodology • Face-to-face visitor survey (122) • Follow-up e-survey • Stage 1 – Model Development

  9. Visitor Survey • Profile of walkers • Reasons for attending • Opinions & satisfaction levels • Suggestions for improvement • What influenced their decision to partake • Walkers accommodation & facility needs • Level of expenditure/socio economic impact

  10. Country of residence Number of respondents = 122

  11. Age of respondents Number of respondents = 122

  12. Party composition Number of respondents = 122

  13. Type of accommodation Number of respondents = 122

  14. Source of Knowledge of Festival Number of respondents = 122

  15. Reason for attending Festival Number of respondents = 122

  16. Type of walker Number of respondents = 122 27% members of walking club or group

  17. Interest in themed walks Number of respondents = 122

  18. Expenditure Average spend €148.65 per person, 400 walkers = estimated revenue €59,460 *€30 3 day pass, €23 2 day pass, €15 1 day pass

  19. Most enjoyable aspects

  20. Aspects of the festival which are lacking

  21. Facilities required Number of respondents = 122

  22. Recommendations • Reduce group size – should be divided into smaller groups with quota on group size • Provide shower & changing facilities • Develop evening entertainment - based in village (restaurants/cafes/ - guides to communicate • Improve access - signage & public transport • Develop counter system - safety • Develop packages • Identify USP – scenery, local information, guides, social • Expand marketing

  23. Ballyhoura Walking Festival • Ballyhoura Failte walking festival committee • 9th year (Early years break even – 2002 - €1,500 profit) • 300-400 people – small no. overseas visitors • Word-of-mouth, friend or through walking club, mail shots, ad in Walking Ireland • Draws people – something different – 1st Marathon (26 miles) • Mixture of walks • Maintenance of walks – Community Enterprise Schemes – no. of people cut • Community work on a voluntary basis to organise festival

  24. Donegal International Walking Festival • 3rd year, 100 walkers staying for 3 days • NI visitors 60%, R of I 30%, Scot & Eng 10% • Direct marketing from database, along with Ardara, NI newspapers, Walking World Ireland, Flyer, in Outdoor pursuits shop • Would like to market more in Scot • Need locals for the quality of the festival • Quality of the guides – people want local experience (Bluestack Ramblers) • Currently breaking even – aim €30-€50 per day • Average spend per person €200-€250 (Accomm, festival fee & packed lunch) • Walking products tourism potential not recognised • Transport costs a big factor

  25. Funding for Walking Festivals Regional Tourism Authorities Festivals and Cultural Events Initiative Registration fee Local Sports Partnership Limited sponsorship – e.g. €35 from B&B’s, local shops, Outdoor Recreation Shops

  26. Recommendations for Walking Festivals Categories of walkers 1. Strollers & recreational walkers 2. Trail walkers/ramblers 3. Hillwalkers • NWWAC Recs on walking group numbers • Groups kept small.Size depend on profile of walking group, walking terrain, weather conditions & no. of leaders available. • Large groups divided into smaller groups. E.g. 100 people divide into 5 groups of 20 walkers with 2 leaders, with departure times at intervals.

  27. Recommendations for Walking Festivals • NWWAC Recs on walking group number/leader ration • The more difficult the terrain and walking conditions the lower the ratio. • Category 1Strollers & Rec walkers 1 leader : 12 walkers • Category 2 Trail Walkers/Ramblers 1 leader : 10 walkers • Category 3 Hill walkers 1 leader : 8 walkers

  28. Recommendations for Walking Festivals • NWWAC Recommendations on walk leader qualifications • All walk leaders should be properly qualified, familiar with the location, experienced guiding groups in the terrain • Category 1 & 2 walks -Walking Group Leader Award • Category 3 walks - Mountain Leader qualification • Assistant Leaders should have the Mountain Skills Award or Countryside Guiding Award • Experience hill-walkers with knowledge of area could also be used as Leaders. NWWAC Recommendations for tracking people as they return Leaders take note of names of walkers and count back in

  29. In Summary • Guides are very important – qualified and knowledgeable of local area • Draw people – something different • Mixture of walks – levels & themes • Maintenance of walks an issue • Number in group – keep small (safety & impact on landscape, landowners) • Social aspect / evening entertainment • Package walking festival product – start to finish • First couple of years breaking even • Potential to target more overseas visitors • Economic potential of walking festivals

  30. Walking Festivals in Ireland • Linda Campbell • Senior Researcher • The Tourism Research Centre, • Dublin Institute of Technology • November 2003 • Linda.campbell@dit.ie