By: Zack Gallagher
Irish Food Tours are building a network of Guided Food Tourism Holidays around the whole island of Ireland. We offer Culinary Tours by Coach around Ireland, north and south of the border, which include visits to the best artisan food producers, farms & restaurants that we have in Ireland.
We can help Irish food producers and tourism operators build a new and successful future together.
About the Project
We are building a network of Irish Food Tour routes, covering all 32 counties, aimed at the Irish, UK and foreign tourism markets. With the rise of food and Food Tourism in the Irish Tourist industry we believe that our timing is perfect for the development of our business, Irish Food Tours. As Ireland’s reputation on the world food stage for Artisan Food Products has been growing steadily over the last ten years and as Failte Ireland have realised the potential for food as a tourism, we hope that our new business venture can help Irish food producers and tourism operators build a new and successful future together through us, as well as others.
The Irish Tourism industry, the food producers, tour operators and travel agents have long been looking for a new product to sell to guests, both from Ireland and from abroad - we believe we have that product and that we can do this professionally. We offer a new reason and opportunity for people to visit all parts of our country. We are the only Tour Business in Ireland that will offer Guided, pre-arranged and fully accommodated Irish Food Tours. We arrange all meals and all tours to the artisan food producers with heritage & cultural additions.
We are linking up with established food groups and creating new ones, to cover destination areas, to offer Guided Irish Food Tours by Coach Around Ireland. We pay the food producers for up to 20 guests per tour, for about an hour of their time describing their products, telling the story behind the food and tastings. We are the only business that is paying the food producers for their time and the food producers are very pleased with this, as it will help towards the cost of developing better visitor's amenities on site.
By working with the food producers and cookery schools, restaurants, accommodation providers and coach operators (north and south of the border) we believe that we are in a unique position to grow our business into the future - while assisting the businesses that we are partnering with, to grow their business too. We have been in contact with food producers and restaurants all over the country and the response has been 100% positive. We are keeping the tours to a maximum of 20 guests per coach as artisan producers do not have the facilities for larger numbers at one time. This also gives those involved on the tour a better and more personal experience. We are staggering the producers that we visit on the tours in each region (not sticking to only the same ones every time) so that everyone gets a shot at it - again, a rising tide....
What we are doing is bang on track with the objectives of Failte Ireland's "Food Tourism Benchmarking Programme” and we can work with everyone involved in the industry. As the Programme states "Collaboration & cooperation is vital". I suppose you could say we are hoping to be the ones that can help to "join the dots" between the various aspects of Food Tourism in Ireland. "Co-operation is essential to success. We need to offer visitors an experience, not just a product. We need to ‘shout’ more about our fabulous products" says the report. We want to develop working relationships with the established food groups and we are very capable of doing a lot of shouting for Irish Food Tourism, if we know we have the support of the industry leaders.
We believe that we can grow Irish Food Tours into a long-term sustainable business that will complement existing tourism businesses and help the smaller artisan food companies to develop into better tourism products. Everyone in the food and food-promotions industry had to start somewhere and should remember the help they needed and asked for, when they were starting up.
We believe can help all the food tourism promoters by arranging and facilitating our Irish Food Tours within the established "Irish Food Network". Everyone in the Irish Food & Tourism industry can be a winner if we all work together.