GAA: future engine for tourism?

Interesting idea from two academics at the University of Ulster, who have argued that the GAA’s amateur status could make it an engine for increased sports tourism. One Australian aficionado suggested to Slugger earlier this week in Dublin that the popular International Rules tests could provide a powerful boost for the game over there.

  • croistoir mac aoidh

    In the spirit of the current “be a tourist at home” campaign and taking advantage of the current success of the Ulster teams, perhaps the tourist boards and GAA should be targeting the northern protestant rugby fan who hasn’t had much of a chance to play GAA at school and is interested in the sport and finding out more about the people who play and follow it.

    IMHO this seems a good way to break down barriers and build some of those happy common memories the president was talking about recently.

  • pat

    There have been quite a few players from both codes, who have trained together during their respective off seasons.

  • croistoir mac aoidh

    I was thinking of the tourism potential for followers not just players. Something along the lines of a coach from the North down to Croke Park, some banter along the way, some more at the game, a meal, a few drinks in town perhaps, an overnight stay and a weary but victorious return having made a few friends from the other tradition.

    All this stuff’s available now – it’s a question of directing your marketing. I wonder how much GAA advertising there is in Northern rugby clubs?

  • P Ring

    Excellent notion but only if the German/US/GB tourist agencies aren’t cut in for a percentage of all-Ireland final tickets. There would be some very irate gaels in that instance.

    I reckon ‘Paddy’s Day all-Ireland club hurling and football finals could be part of a good package and this wonderful occasion could always do with herding in a few more punters.

  • CavanMan

    To be honest id far sooner bring in our Unionist friends in the North to the magical word of GAA, than promote it to tourists at the moment…id think its a better step to have ALL Irishmen and women involved, before we go international.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    CavanMan, you’re right about getting more people from a Unionist background involved but getting one set of people involved doesn’t preclude the other. Putting notices about games in hotels and hostels etc. doesn’t take a lot of effort and many visitors would turn up if they knew where to go.

  • maca

    Cavanman, we are already international.
    Anyway, a scheme such as this might kill two birds with one stone. As well as aiding tourism (& the GAA) it might make the GAA finally take a close look at the situation up North and start to make long overdue changes.

  • CavanMan

    i know we are international in that sense,i believe we have a chance for the sport to become like American Football, popular throughout the world, and not only to those of irish descent.The First step to that are Northern Ireland Protestants/Unionists, then onto the rest of the UK..seeing as they are the our neighbours.
    Any Tourists who have ever attended Big GAA games in Croker, have always given positive feedback.
    I agree with Tiochais, the idea of putting notices in Hostels,Hotels etc is an outstanding one.