In 2011 Sherwood &Associates were retained by Failte Ireland to write a Destination Development Plan for a pilot area in Donegal. The objective of the plan was to answers to three related key questions:
Why is tourism important?
…establishing the rationale for intervention
- the contribution that tourism currently makes to the local and regional economy and its potential impact,
- the role and contribution of tourism in promoting the region and enhancing its image as a place to live, visit and as a focus for inward investment,
- the current performance and potential of region as the tourism hub of the North West and a tourist destination
What needs to be done?
….assessing the nature of the visitor experience
- the region’s tourism product including attractions, accommodation, tourist facilities, infrastructure and communications, events and the cultural and natural environment,
- the role and contribution of cultural tourism, sport and sporting events,
- the likely contribution and impact of major investment projects
- best practice examples and benchmarking
How should it be done?
….shaping the nature of the response
- key public agencies’ perspectives on tourism development including a review of stated policies,
- the co-ordination and management of tourism development, marketing and promotion of the region and the role and contribution of key public agencies, the private sector and the wider community,
- identify local stakeholders and their role in the delivery of the strategy,
- best practice examples and benchmarking,
- a programme for implementation of the recommended strategy set within a realistic timescale and taking account of existing and potential funding sources…allocation of responsibility for each action…key performance indicators.
Following an extensive programme of consultation the plan was completed in December 2011 and is currently being rolled out.