The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has confirmed that ‘Tourism has been the worst affected of all major economic sectors’ by Covid 19.
- How will this impact on the businesses and livelihoods of those involved in these sectors?
- What challenges will the wider tourism sector face?
- What are Ireland’s plans for recovery?
- What can we do to support the tourism industry?
These are just some of the questions that Niall Gibbons Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland and Niall O’Callaghan Managing Director of Shannon Heritage and current Chairman of AVEA – the National Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions, will answer in this tourism-focused webinar, which will be of tremendous interest not just to those operating in the sector but to the community at large and to everyone who wants to be a tourist again.
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland. He oversees the marketing of the island across the world, leading a team of over 160 staff in 22 markets, whose work is underpinned by sustainable destination marketing principles. Over 11 million overseas visitors in 2019 contributed over €5.8BN to the island economies and supported 325,000 jobs. He led Tourism Ireland’s expansion into new markets such as China and the Middle East and oversaw the organisation’s emergence as a leader in digital marketing and social media. He developed ground-breaking partnerships with LucasFilm and HBO which allowed Tourism Ireland to leverage the global success of Star Wars and Game of Thrones to showcase the island of Ireland overseas, in a new way. He led the development of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, which has brought tourism to the heart of St Patrick’s Day celebrations across the world. The World Economic Forum has ranked Ireland 3rd in the world out of 136 countries for ‘effectiveness of marketing and branding to attract tourists’.
Niall is a business graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He sits on the Irish Government’s Export Trade Council, is a member of Culture Ireland’s Expert Advisory Committee and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality in Ireland.
Niall O’Callaghan is the Managing Director of Shannon Heritage, Shannon Group’s tourist attraction and experience company. He oversees the company’s portfolio of day attractions, evening entertainment venues and retail outlets across 11 locations nationally, leading a team of 180 staff. Almost 1 million visitors were welcomed to Shannon Heritage attractions in 2019, including the flagship Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. He led Shannon Heritage’s expansion of the portfolio in Dublin and oversaw the organisation’s emergence as a leader in digital marketing and social media. He has reinvigorated Shannon Heritage’s reputation as early innovators with numerous firsts including customer service excellence, digital transformation and strategic partnerships.
Niall is a graduate of UL, with a Master’s in Marketing from UCC, and is the current Chairman of AVEA – the national Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions. He sits on the Irish Government’s Tourism Leadership Group, is a member of the Irish Tourism Industry Council as well as a number of local tourism committees and boards.