In March of this year the Ideas Campaign, an independent, citizen’s initiative based in Ireland, was launched. The driving force behind this was Aileen O’Toole of AMAS, the online consulting specialists, and its principal objectives were to:
– seek citizens ideas for Irish economic recovery and renewal,
– help stimulate a debate about solutions to our economic problems,
– set a challenge to people in Ireland to be innovative and creative, and to play their part in planning the country’s economic recovery.
The response was enormous. In terms of the number of ideas received, tourism was one of the top three categories. Many of the ideas came from overseas from the Irish diaspora. There was a real sense of tourism’s importance to the Irish economy and innovations were in plentiful supply.
The tourism ideas ranged from the zany like, “create a very large Irish-themed Euro Disney-style fun park called Tir na nOg”, to the practical like “extend the current free travel scheme for Irish citizens aged 66+ to all EU citizens in the same age category”.
One suggested that free flights be given to tourists who fly at off-peak times and agree to stay at least one week. Carriers please note.
Another helpfully suggested that “politicians who normally travel abroad for St Patrick’s Day should stay at home and invite and entertain people from other countries here instead”.
Indeed it may have been the same person who also said, “we have the largest government per head of population – we should reduce the number of elected representatives”.
Excise duties came in for lots of criticism, perhaps best encapsulated by the person who simply said, “remove the large taxes on pints”. Bless him, oops maybe it’s a her.
Click here to read the dozens and dozens of other tourism ideas. And post a blog to let us know what you think. You might even let us have your own ideas for what might help restore tourism growth.
If you wish to go beyond tourism, the overall Ideas Campaign Action Plan is available on www.ideascampaign.ie, and it is well worth a browse.
June 16th 2009