Sligo moves to protect tourists from being ripped off at Fleadh
Published 05/08/2014 | 11:58
TOURISTS will return to Sligo if they are given value for money and not ripped-off by price hikes during next week’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, business leaders have promised.
Shops and pubs in the town have signed a special charter to ensure visitors to the world’s biggest festival of Irish traditional music will not be hit by price hikes on food, drink and other services.
A huge €30m windfall to the local economy is expected from the Fleadh which begins on Sunday with more than 350,000 visitors due over seven days. The country’s biggest cultural event of the summer will feature 20,000 musicians and 250 events over the course of the week.
Shops, pubs and hotels are keen not to jeopardise the massive cash boost and a concerted campaign has begun to ensure visitors come back for more.
Speaking on RTE radio’s ‘Morning Ireland’ programme, Sligo Chamber chief executive Paul Keyes said it was crucial for the economy to encourage visitors to come back - and the best way of doing that was by offering value and quality service.
Prices will be clearly displayed and businesses have been issued with a special sticker to display in their shop windows.
The “In Tune with the Fleadh” initiative commits the businesses to a standard of service, value, quality and being environmentally responsible.
Keyes said Sligo was out-performing other counties with a huge increase in visitor numbers over recent years and that was down to a collective effort.
He added: “The campaign is centred on ensuring the visitor experience in Sligo is a positive and welcoming one. It has received a great response from business owners already.
“Research shows visitors come and enjoy the ‘event’ and come back if they enjoy the ‘experience’. And the ‘experience’ will depend on how we interact with the visitor.”
Social media will also play a role in the Fleadgh with businesses encouraged to share Fleadh-related pictures and video on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #SligoInTune
The charter is a collaborative campaign involving the Sligo business community, Sligo County Council, Failte Ireland and Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.