Westport Tourism Organisation (WTO ) has announced the publication of its latest book report: Westport – Where Visitors Feel at Home – documenting the findings of a survey of attitudes/opinions of visitors (domestic and international ) to Westport and tourism operators/accommodation providers in the host community, conducted by WTO during 2019.
The 128-page book authored by Mayo’s well known Jesuit priest & sociologist, Fr Micheál Mac Gréil, on behalf of WTO and dedicated to the memory of the late Sean Staunton (former editor of The Mayo News ) and Lord Jeremy Altamont (Westport House ), is the latest in a continuing series of tourism survey reports published by WTO and directed by Fr Mac Gréil - conducted in the popular tourist town during 1987, 1992, 2001 and 2011.
Survey content in this latest report is documented and explored over seven chapters that look at The Current Tourist Situation in Westport, Tourism Development and Changes in Western Ireland in recent years, What Westport Has to Offer and Special Westport Tourism Features - all assessed in relation to the data findings and influential factors that impact on Westport tourism, from local issues such as accommodation capacity/indoor-outdoor activities/visitor experiences in Westport - to the Wild Atlantic Way and in the context of tourism income, population changes, Tourist Wants and Needs, Brexit and international/ global tourism.
Multiple tables throughout provide the finer details of recorded data from hundreds of questionnaires devised to assess Westport’s standing as a quality visitor destination. The book also contains a selection of iconic photographs of Westport’s scenic landscapes and famous landmarks, including Croagh Patrick, Westport House and Ballintubber Abbey, as well as pictures of some cherished characters who have worked to grow the town over the years.
The book’s front cover showcases a much-loved painting of the Mall in Westport by the late Westport artist, Owen Walsh, donated to the community of Westport by Fr Mac Gréil on behalf of the Jesuits, and which is kept on display in Westport Town Hall.
The preface is written by WTO Chairperson, Donal O’Shea, with foreword by Dr Mark Garavan, Applied Social Care lecturer in GMIT Mayo. Research Assistant was Megan Burke of GMIT. The report also includes three themed essays on Westport authored by historian Aiden Clarke, architect Simon Wall and Research Professor John Bradley.
A final summary and recommendations chapter written against the background of the outbreak of Covid-19 across the world during 2020, includes twenty-one suggestions by the author on how to continue improving Westport’s tourism offering. The full report is sure to prove an invaluable resource for all with an interest in Westport and prove a timely reminder of the town’s inherent tourism attractiveness as the world emerges from lockdown.
The launch of this publication took place in Westport Town Hall on Thursday, July 1, at 7.30pm, with Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media, launching the publication on behalf of WTO.