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Sunday 21 September 2014

New plans for the capital as tourists say city is ‘dull’

Published 24/01/2014 | 07:54

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High angle view of Dublin with the Dublin spire in the background
High angle view of Dublin with the Dublin spire in the background

DUBLIN is dull, grey and boring - that’s according to tourists to our fair city.

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Failte Ireland has admitted they were surprised by the findings of an investigation which queried what potential international visitors thought of the capital city.

British people think that there are “not a lot of things to do in Dublin,” said Keith McCormack from Failte Ireland.

Americans had a high awareness of Ireland but very little of Dublin while “the Germans think of green grass, rural Connemara, thatched cottages and farms,” explained Mr McCormack.

Tourists from key markets (France, Britain, Germany and America) were surveyed throughout last year and the perception of Dublin as a “traditional, boring, dull and grey city” was the main stereotype.

A lot of people also associated Dublin with Belfast and “there's a negative connotation from things that have happened north of the border,” said Mr McCormack.

He also said that the international tourists surveyed, who had yet to visit the capital, didn't see Dublin as modern and also felt that the weather was a challenge.

“They didn't think much of us,” explained the Failte Ireland representative.

However the 20pc of Dubliners who aren't Irish saw Dublin completely differently saying there's lots of things to do and they've had a very “rich experience.”

In a bid to attract more tourists Failte Ireland is pumping €1m into this year's St Patrick's Day celebrations and hopes to double tourist revenue to €2.5bn.

The Destination Dublin report believes tourist revenue can grow by €1.9bn by 2020 creating 19,000 more jobs in the industry that already employs 230,000 people.

The ambitious plan, Destination Dublin, was launched by Leo Varadkar, Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport yesterday and aims to grow Dublin's tourism with new festivals and business conferences in the pipeline for 2014.

“There has been a recovery in tourism in recent years,” he said.

The minister hopes Dublin, with four million visitors annually, will match Barcelona's six million figure.

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