Cork 29-09-2019

Galway 2019 ‘The success of Galway is no accident’: KennyDeery, GalwayChamber chief executive p2



Galway’s striking landscape is central to the western region


Galway city and county continue to be amagnet for global companies investing in Ireland against a backdropof a bustling tourism industry and cultural offerings, writes SiobhánMaguire

said themainaimforGalway is togaina broaderspreadoftourismacrossallparts of the county and extend the season so thattourismbusinessescanstayopenbe- yond the traditional summer season. “We continue to invest in this,” she said. “This summer, Kylemore Abbey opened a really exciting and engaging newvisitorexperiencewith€1.7million Fáilte Ireland investment. As part of our strategic partnership with the Nation- al Parks and Wildlife Service, we have also invested€1.9millioninConnemara National Park to develop an additional 10.5kmofnewtrails, achildren’snatural playarea, carparkfacilities, etc. Bothare now open for visitors year-round. “Wearealsocontinuingtoworkonthe Visitor Experience Development Plan for the Connemara Coast and Aran Is- lands which was launched in 2018 to identify the stand-out features for the area and increasevisitor dwell time and spend.And,sincewelaunchedtheLocal Experts initiative last year, more than 450membersof the local community in Galwayhavecompletedtheprogramme, whichaimstoequipthosethatcomeinto contact with visitors to an areawith in- formationandexpertisetocreatepositive experiences for tourists. “Lookingtonextyear,wearedelighted thatGalwaywillbetheEuropeanCapital ofCulturein2020.Galwayhasaverycol- laborative tourism industry andwe be- lievetheprojectisagreatopportunityfor the city to showcase the vibrant culture and festival atmosphere it is renowned for to an international audience.”

nication technology (ICT) andmedtech firmsestablishingthemselvesinGalway. Earlierthismonthattheofficialopen- ing in Galway of Xperi Corporation, a Silicon Valley-based, publicly traded technology company with two subsid- iaries in Ireland–FotoNation inGalway andDTS in Limerick– it was noted that the region is thriving. “Xperi’sdecisiontoexpand inGalway isafurtherboosttotheICTclusterthatwe haveandenhancesGalway’s reputation as a global hub for the development of someofthemostexcitingandinnovative technological products and services,” said Sean Kyne, Minister of State. New arrivals to Galway and existing companies undergoing expansion saw the announcement of 775 new jobs in 2018. There was a total of 42 IDA-spon- sored site visits to Galway up to the end of September 2018. IDA Ireland said therehadalsobeena 32 per cent increase in regional invest- ment since itscurrentfive-year strategy began in 2015. During that period, 455 investments had been secured for re- gional areas. Regional investments during the first half of 2019 include the creation of 150 jobs in Castlebar in Co Mayo by Meis- sner and 150 jobs by Rent the Runway in Galway. InFebruaryof thisyear,NUIGalway’s BioExel programme supported a new waveofmedtechstart-ups.BioExeloffers €95,000 in seed funding to successful applicantstotheprogramme,alongwith sixmonthsofintensivetraining,mentor-

ing,labspaceandsupportedinteractions with potential investors. In June, Boston Scientific Galway openedanewfacilityat itsBallybrit site. The company, which began operating in Ireland in 1994 with fewer than 30 employees,hasaworkforceofmorethan 5,700across three IrishsitesatClonmel, Cork and Galway. In July, Nautus Medical Incorporated announcedanexpansionofitsoperations inGort,CoGalway,withanofficialopen- ing of anewDistributionCentre located in the IDA Business Park. Mary Buckley, IDA Ireland executive director, said at the opening: “As such, the company is a strong reference seller for us inworking towin further foreign directinvestmenttotheregionsofIreland which is a key focus for IDA Ireland.” Tourismis also buoyant, withGalway and the Wild Atlantic Way among the most popular destinations. MiriamKennedy,headof theWildAt- lanticWay, said: “TheWildAtlanticWay hasbecomeahouseholdnameinIreland since we launched it in 2014. Last year wasour strongestyet,wehadmore than 3.7millioninternationalvisitors,over4.7 million domestic visitors and between them they spent €3 billion, supporting over 80,000 jobs along the west coast. “Galway continues to be a popular tourist destination–18per cent of over- seas tourists to IrelandvisitedGalway in 2018, making it one of the three most popularcountiesinthecountryforover- seas tourists.” Kennedy said 2019 has been a chal-

lenging year for the tourism industry, particularly with uncertainty around Brexit. “As the National Tourism Develop- ment Authority, we continue to work withthe local industrytosustainIreland as a high-quality, competitive and best in class tourism destination,” she said. “Wedothisbysupportingtourismenter- prises to innovate by delivering tailored programmes that help assess the risks, respond to changes, access tourists us- ing the right channels anddiversify into other markets. Fáilte Ireland’s vision for the Wild Atlantic Way is to deliver sustainable growth to all areas of thewest coast and in turn deliver real benefits for local communities and businesses. Kennedy Fromthemost westerncoast in Europe, Ireland will engagemore intenselywithour cultural partners across theEUand beyond

A ll eyes were on Galway earlier this month as the city’s EuropeanCapital of Cultureprogramme was launched against a backdrop of celebrations. The city and countywill be themain player on a world stage when the year-long event gets under way next February, backed by a total of €25million in state funding for Galway 2020. Speaking at the launch, which was attended by President Michael D Hig- gins, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan said the designationofGalwayasEuropeanCap- ital of Culture offers an unprecedented opportunitytohaveaglobal spotlight on its creative talents.  “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportu- nitywhich offers not alone Galway, but Ireland the chance to shine the bright beaconof our cultureacrossEuropeand globally,”shesaid.“Fromthemostwest-

ern coast in Europe, Irelandwill engage moreintenselywithourculturalpartners across the EU and beyond. “Galway’s striking and truly stunning landscape – urban, rural and island – will become the stage for many of the events over the year.The landscapewill beused innewandexcitingways togive audiencesuniqueandvisualexperiences whichIknowwilllivelongineveryone’s memories.” While the city and county’s cultural delights bask in the spotlight, behind the scenes industry is a hive of activity with strong foreign direct investment already in 2019, as Galway remains top of multinationals’ wish lists. The region is repeatedly flagged as a locationof choicebecause it ticks all the boxes for global companies seeking to invest here. Galway has a skilled work- force,excellenttransportlinks,third-lev- el institutionsandasupportivebusiness community. And the evidence is supported by the large number of information commu-

2019 Deloitte Ireland LLP

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