Irish Independent - Business Week - - FRONT PAGE -

WE have had an­other re­lated query in this space over the last num­ber of weeks. More and more busi­nesses, who tra­di­tion­ally wouldn’t have en­gaged with tourists, are find­ing that with the right prod­uct or ser­vice of­fer, they can gen­er­ate a se­cond prof­itable rev­enue stream from this area.

Talk to Fáilte Ire­land which has a lot of ex­per­tise in build­ing vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ences and will help to be able to point you to dozens of case stud­ies. I would also rec­om­mend that ei­ther through your own con­tact, or through talk­ing to Fáilte Ire­land, that you iden­tify suc­cess­ful tourism venue op­er­a­tors, and where pos­si­ble, go and visit them and chat with their man­agers so that you can iden­tify the crit­i­cal suc­cess fac­tors you need to put into place.

From talk­ing to those who have al­ready im­mersed them­selves into this area, there are a num­ber of com­mon learn­ings you should take on board. You need to first de­cide on how you want to struc­ture your vis­i­tor cen­tre. Is this some­thing that needs to be pre-booked? You may not want peo­ple wan­der­ing in unan­nounced when you are in the mid­dle of pro­duc­tion.

Also think about your cur­rent fa­cil­ity and see if it is suitable for re­ceiv­ing vis­i­tors. Is the ex­te­rior ap­proach large enough for coaches, or large num­bers of cars? Do you have toi­lets and other fa­cil­i­ties? Do you need to build some sort of a view­ing gallery/vis­i­tor cen­tre?

All of this could re­quire in­vest­ment and it would be good to de­ter­mine this in ad­vance.

I do agree strongly that this is a very vi­able area for you to be ex­plor­ing as a po­ten­tial syn­ergy to your core busi­ness, and I just want to be cau­tious about the way you struc­ture it so you can gain max­i­mum ben­e­fit with­out risk­ing the cur­rent busi­ness.

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