As someone who has her research finger on the marketing pulse of the tourism industry, what she has to say about changing tourism trends should give cause for pause and reflection.
One of her more interesting throwaway comments concerned the changing nature of the tourist ‘season’.
“People travel at different times of the year so the notion of a traditional holiday time is no longer the norm,” she stated, which seems to put an end to the notion of there being a shoulder period in the year. People no longer limit travel to the Summer months only.
And what we have to offer tourists is the uniqueness of the Irish Pub as alluded to by Fiona.
That uniqueness stems from service operators connecting in a real way, making a real connection with the tourist. In fact it’s something Irish publicans have been doing with locals for years and something which publicans and staff do as a matter or routine, something taken for granted – they make that real connection without even noticing, if you like.
In an increasingly automated age, the Point Of Difference that the Irish pub offers is to be completely immersive in their service.
Publicans are well placed to address the needs of the tourist by telling that local story, enabling that personal engagement to come into its own and become memorable to the tourist – because automated service is not memorable.
The more staff can share the local background information, talk about where the food and drink came from, its origins, when it was caught and how – all part of the quality value experience – the more the tourist will remember it, relate it to their friends back home and encourage new and repeat visits not least to the Irish pub itself – and after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?