City tourists get 'futuristic failte' at new centre
Dublin's "staid" tourism brand is getting a lively makeover with a "futuristic failte" visitor centre.
A high-tech new tourist office was officially opened yesterday in Suffolk Street to replace the old visitor centre in the nearby Saint Andrew's Church building.
Spectacular large scale video walls, interactive pods, and an 'app wall' of smartphone apps with free Wifi in the new centre will begin the process of revamping Dublin's image for tourists.
A major re-branding of the city as a leading European destination will take place later this year with a new single logo and unified marketing campaign for the capital.
Failte Ireland chief executive Shaun Quinn told the Herald the city is due an image makeover.
"Our consumer research has highlighted that, even though Dublin has been performing relatively well... its brand has slipped. It's a bit staid, tired, a bit stereotypical," he said.
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"We need to be projecting a more refreshed image of Dublin which actually exists."
Failte Ireland's new state of the art centre will provide visitors with information which is "intuitive and accessible to all".
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe said the new centre will combine traditionally helpful and friendly expertise with a range of very modern digital tools.
"It will help visitors make informed decisions in relation to their visit to our city and county - allowing them to really interact with all we can offer," said the minister.
Interactive pods will display a simplified map of key locations and attractions throughout the city and county.
A social media wall features a large digital display of posts and tweets tagged with #lovedublin.
It will show visitors' own images and experiences of Dublin.
The App Wall will allow visitors to download a range of new apps to sample and explore the gems of the city.
A 'What's On' Area of large screens showing events, concerts and special exhibitions that are on each day with booking available.
Digital posters and videos will also promote locations and attractions throughout Ireland.
Orla Carroll, Failte Ireland's Head of Dublin, said the new technology will inspire visitors to engage and interact with their surroundings, and will highlight special offers.
The new office sets a global benchmark, she said.
Failte Ireland also re-booted its www.visitdublin.com website. The website shows "a modern, vibrant and authentic Dublin."
"Our new Visit Dublin website highlights a city where there is always something happening right now," she said.
Failte Ireland will soon launch a social media campaign "to rally Dubliners to create and share their Dublin experiences using the #LoveDublin tag," she said.
Michael Carey, chairman of the Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance, said the new centre will "help Dublin to up its game and maximise its full tourism potential."
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