Caroline Boland and Gary Curran together run the Dingle Peninsula Tourism Alliance, located on the southern coast of Ireland. Gary serves as chairperson of the alliance, and Caroline is a marketing consultant for DPTA.
Gary grew up on the peninsula and now runs Greenmount House, a 4-star rated bed and breakfast in Dingle. Caroline visited some years ago and knew this beautiful place was where she wanted to live. Together, Gary and Caroline have been traveling in Massachusetts and New York on behalf of the DPTA. Coincidentally, both Gary and Caroline graduated from the Shannon College of Hotel Management in Galway, Ireland.
On this episode of Destination on the Left, I have a conversation that will make you want to pack your bags immediately and head for the southern coast of Ireland. I talk with Caroline and Gary about the challenges of marketing on a limited budget and the exciting opportunities for collaboration that come out of that kind of necessity.
Whatever brings people to your destination is often just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. How do you help visitors explore all your destination has to offer? In Ireland’s Dingle peninsula, it starts with the incredible natural beauty. From there, the people, the food, the hectic festival schedule (they have a LOT of festivals) can all be a big draw. We talk about how there is a different target market for different seasons, and how to connect with people who will enjoy the winter or shoulder season, and those who want to be there in the summer.
As Caroline points out, “You don’t have to have money to make a new friend. You just have to be genuine and, and just welcoming and just want to spend time, share a bit, and build a relationship.” That’s how they approached their relationship with sister city, West Springfield in Massachusetts. How can you build a mutually beneficial relationship, so it’s not just a plaque on the side of the road, and now you’re a sister city? There is some great conversation around making that happen.