WIT worked with Waterford Viking Triangle Trust, Waterford City & County Council and Waterford Chamber on a pilot destination experience project
A new collaborative research project was launched at Greyfriars Gallery. The destination experience project is a collaboration between a number of stakeholders, including WIT, Waterford Viking Triangle Trust, Waterford City & County Council and Waterford Chamber.
A pilot destination experience information system was put into practice last summer to assess what visitors to Waterford are thinking, what they want and what their overall impressions are.
Presenting the results of the pilot phase Anne Marie Lally, Lecturer in Tourism & Hospitality at WIT, explained that initial indications are that Waterford as a destination exceeded visitor expectations and that visitors were largely impressed by the city, friendliness of the people and in particular the Viking Triangle Welcome Ambassadors were a highlight. On what could be improved, the findings said there needed to be more information available on things to do, where to eat and what’s on. The lack of public toilets was a concern and questions were also raised about opening hours and admission prices to many of the attractions.
Speaking at the event, CEO of the Waterford Viking Triangle Trust, Fiona McHardy said: “As the tourism sector in Waterford continues with experience development, it is necessary for research and supports to focus on experience performance management so that we can ensure that our competitive distinctiveness is both sustainable and evolving.”
“We want to meet and exceed their expectations as we bring tourism in Waterford to a new level of sophistication. This project has given us the opportunity to be sure our destination is best in class,” Ms McHardy concluded.
Billy Duggan, Waterford City and County Council, announced that Waterford City and County Council is planning to take the pilot project to a new level by pushing it out to the county and beyond so that Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford can work together as a region, particularly in light of the Three Sisters Bid. This will be in association with Waterford Chamber, who will be providing office space and support services for the development of the project. Drawing proceedings to a close, Fiona McHardy said these were very positive times for Waterford with strategic investment and a policy commitment to best practice. “As Waterford grows we want to ensure we are delivering experiences that excite, engage and connect with our modern consumer and our stakeholders are committed to this. There is a lot done at this stage but plenty more to do,” she concluded.