Talktourism on National Radio: RTE Radio 1

We had our monthly Talktourism Web2.0 Network workshop in Clones, Co Monaghan on the 11th February ’09.  This network of five small tourism providers have become proficient at using the free Web2.0 tools that are available for the promotion of their rural tourism businesses.  Each network member learns from the others experiences and attempts to use various online tools since our last workshop.

An opportunity was presented that morning when one of our national radio stations announced that they were visiting Cavan Monaghan later today ‘to speak to real people dealing with the economic downturn’. So, never being one to miss an opportunity; I sent an email off to ‘Morning Ireland’ which is a current affairs programme on RTE Radio 1 inviting them along to our workshop. 

I was surprised when I received a call from reporter Cian McCormack reporter with RTE Radio 1 that they would be interested in coming along to meet with the group.  The programme was generally looking how the current economic crisis is impacting on rural Ireland.  Cian interviewed all present, paying particular attention to three of our small tourism providers from Cavan and Monaghan.  I was impressed by the enthusiasm and positive responses from our local tourism entreprenuers.

They left as quick as they came and we all waited with anticipation the following morning to hear our piece on national radio and we can only sum up that we were being too positive!  Unfortunately they did not cover our story as there was more pressing issues with failing banks and general economic doom & gloom…  If you want to read more about this and the views of the web2.0 network visit our Talktourism discussion.

That afternoon our Talktourism Web2.0 Network meeting continued with renewed vigour following the visit from RTE.  Later in the afternoon our two local County Tourism Marketing Officers from Cavan and Monaghan dropped in to find out what we are doing.  They were interested in the activities of the group and it provided all with an opportunity to update online and offline links!

It has become clear to all the members of this network is that the year ahead is going to be tough and the opportunities that exist through various online media, presents a real opportunity for small tourism providers to gain greater access to their potential markets. 

We are interested in hearing how your business dealing with the current economic downturn and what strategies you have put in place to attract more business!  Let us know by commenting here or on www.talktourism.ie

Talktourism – in the beginning

Talktourism? What is it? www.talktourism.ie is a discussion board web-site which was launched in April 2007 in county Cavan on a beautiful spring day.  Talktourism is Ireland’s only discussion board web-site which is dedicated to tourism businesses in Ireland and provides them with an opportunity to meet online and share experiences/knowledge.

 

I am the site developer / administrator and with some help from the Talktourism members, I also moderate the site.  I have been a tourism development officer working for Cavan Monaghan Rural Development for the last nine years and to be honest I really enjoy my work!  Not everyone can say that, But its TRUE!

 

Over the last four or five years I have been able to access funding through an organisation called Border Action to organise and develop various training initiatives to assist the development of the tourism sector in counties Cavan / Monaghan.  For those that haven’t heard, we are based in two border counties in the Republic of Ireland and as a result of our location on the border, these counties had suffered from many knock on problems resulting from the troubles in Northern Ireland. I have grown up through the seventies and the eighties and I do appreciate the peaceful environment that we all live in and may it long continue.

 

So with the funding in hand, we set about assisting the tourism sector develop in Cavan/Monaghan, but at every available opportunity we brought tourism providers together from across the border in Northern Ireland and other border counties to participate in numerous training events!  The more we brought people together from the various tourism sectors, the more they learned from each other and the more everyone appreciated that they ALL shared common problems and issues. 

 

Of course in the last four-five years, we have put a lot of effort in to increasing individual tourism businesses skills to become effective on the internet and to have ebusiness strategies in place to ensure that they are all attracting more and more tourists!  All of this was great, but I really wanted a way to harness the learning that was experienced at each training event, encourage the tourism providers to share their knowledge, communicate and perhaps even work together.  This provided me with the idea that a discussion board would help them to continually learning from each other and become more effective in web-based marketing. SO with the help of a number of key local tourism agencies the seed was sowed and www.talktourism.ie was born. 

 

So that’s some of the background! But where I am going to go next? Well, I think I will bring you to some of the places that I enjoy visiting in the border region, North and South.  The place that I work is based in a wonderful setting in an Agricultural College and I live only five minutes away from work… I always feel good about this when I hear the traffic reports on  the radio in the evening, with all those commuters stuck in rush our traffic in Dublin. J

 

I enjoy mountain biking and a couple of times a week after work, I go out cycling the quite country roads of the counties of Cavan, Fermanagh and Monaghan.  This the best way to finish a day, when most are still stuck in rush hour traffic!  I hope to bring you a video of a typical cycling clip, but in the meantime I have uploaded the view of a fisherman enjoying the peaceful evening on the lough, which is the view out the back of my house. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9jVbVpMmUY 

 

If you’re in the business of tourism, perhaps you could check out our www.talktourism.ie and tell us something about the place that you live… Its good to Talk!  Be back soon!