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13th Annual Tourism and Hospitality Research in Ireland Conference (THRIC)


THRIC 2017 To Provide Snapshot Of Opportunities And Challenges For Ireland’s Tourism Industry

Ireland’s leading tourism academics and researchers gather in IT Sligo for annual Tourism & Hospitality Research Conference
Two-day event will tackle the key challenges and opportunities for tourism in Post Brexit Ireland
Latest tourism research will provide fresh insight into how tourism entrepreneurs can help shape and drive the future of the Industry here
Shines a light on the new emerging forms of tourism which encompass a shared vision between the tourist, entrepreneur and community.
The role of the entrepreneur in driving Ireland’s tourism and hospitality industry forward will be a chief focus of a major tourism conference, to be hosted by IT Sligo next month. 
Tourism academics and researchers from across Ireland and overseas will gather in the Institute for the 13th annual Tourism and Hospitality Research in Ireland Conference (THRIC 2017).
The two-day event (June 15th and 16th) brings together the leading academics, industry representatives and policy makers who will debate and discuss key issues of concern within the Irish context of the tourism industry. 
“Tourism continues to be invaluable to Ireland, in particular to rural peripheral areas,” explains Dr James Hanrahan, lecturer in Sustainable Tourism Management at IT Sligo.
“The opportunities and challenges facing Irish Tourism, from climate change to peace and security, are acknowledged in this the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development,” Dr Hanrahan says.
“This event will provide a current snapshot of the latest tourism research in Ireland on the eve of Brexit, and against the global backdrops of international terrorism, climate change and artificial intelligence. The conference aims to drill down to see what they really mean for the tourism industry here.”
The tourism industry in Ireland had its best year in 2016, with sentiment across the sector now at levels not seen since the days of the so-called Celtic Tiger.
THRIC will seek to examine the new opportunities this upturn presents and to look out over the horizon at what is coming down the track for the tourism Industry here. That exploration will feature keynote contributions for some of the leading national and international academics and speakers in the tourism area.
Professor Michael Hall from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, is one of the world’s leading academic writers and publishers on sustainable tourism, regional development, heritage, sustainability, global environmental change and food tourism. He will give an insightful and provocative keynote address entitled ‘Tourism and Hospitality Entrepreneurship in the Age of Disruption.” 
Other keynote speakers will include: Mark Henry, Director of Marketing at Tourism Ireland; John Concannon, Director of Creative Ireland, Minister of State for Tourism, Transport & Sport, Patrick O’Donovan T.D. and Philip Alford from Bournemouth University, who will explore the benefits and challenges of entrepreneurial marketing in a digital economy.
While the bulk of The THRIC conference will be devoted to academic research, open panel sessions will feature leading practitioners from the tourism and hospitality industry, who will share their knowledge and insights on how best Ireland can continue to expand and develop its tourism offering.
“Tourism entrepreneurs are the future.” explains Ann Higgins, Head of the Department of Marketing, Tourism & Sport at IT Sligo. “This conference is keen to explore how the industry is preparing to respond to new tourism markets and challenges.”
Ms Higgins says that local tourism providers will be an integral part of the event. 
“Sligo and its environs has a tourism product to rival anywhere in the world. That is one of the reasons why IT Sligo has opened its doors to more than 30 local/regional tourism providers who will showcase their products/services to the visiting delegates.”
THRIC 2017 will also shine a light on new forms of tourism which are emerging, encompassing a shared vision between the tourist, the entrepreneur, the community and local government. 
Registration details and a full schedule listing for THRIC 2017 are available at itsligo.ie/thric-conference.


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