Mayor, Fáilte Ireland and Chamber unite to call for fair pricing during Waterford's hosting of Tall Ships
Wednesday, 27th April 2011
Cllr. Mary Roche, Mayor of Waterford and Michael Garland, CEO, Waterford Chamber pictured on the Quayside in Waterford as they join Fáilte Ireland in a united call for fair pricing during Waterford's hosting of The Tall Ships Races 2011 from June 30-July 3.
Further information is available at http://www.waterfordtallshipsrace.ie
(Pic: John Power)
"Our hosting of The Tall Ships Races presents a priceless opportunity for us to showcase the best of Waterford to a huge national and international audience." Cllr. Mary Roche, Mayor of Waterford
With up to 500,000 visitors due in the city and along the Suir Estuary for Waterford's hosting of The Tall Ships Races 2011 from June 30-July 3, civic, business and tourism leaders have united to call for fair pricing across the four days.Cllr Mary Roche, Mayor of Waterford, has combined with Gary Breen, Head of Operations, Fáilte Ireland and Michael Garland, CEO, Waterford Chamber to urge all businesses in the city to maintain fair pricing and to continue offering value-for-money as visitors fill the city and its hinterland, bringing additional business to shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, taxis and tourist attractions.
In a specific package geared towards the tourism and hospitality sector, a Tall Ships Customer Care Charter has been developed by Fáilte Ireland. This scheme will provide additional training for front-of-house personnel who will be among the first points of contact for visitors to the city during its hosting of dozens of Tall Ships and their crews.
Urging businesses to act responsibly and ensure visitors and locals alike enjoy the Tall Ships experience to the full, Mayor Roche said: "Our hosting of The Tall Ships Races presents a priceless opportunity for us to showcase the best of Waterford to a huge national and international audience. The 2005 experience when the race series previously started here means that we all have a greater sense now of just how big this event is and what an honour it is to host it.
"June 30-July 3 will be landmark days in the modern history of Ireland's oldest city as record numbers of visitors arrive here by air, land and sea. Given this, we need to take a slightly longer view and not put short-term profits ahead of medium- and long-term gain for all. Reflecting the economic environment, the entire festival programme is free-of-charge, including headline acts such as Bryan Ferry and The Waterboys – all helping make this very attractive for local and visiting families."
Gary Breen said that from Fáilte Ireland's perspective, Waterford's hosting of The Tall Ships Races 2011 represents one of the key events in the country this year – something reflected in the resources being deployed to promote the festival programme at home and abroad.
"While we're not in the business of price-setting, it is not in anyone's interest for businesses to hike up prices and take advantage of the influx of people attracted by the Tall Ships and the great programme of free entertainment that Waterford is providing. For our part, we're engaging directly with tourism operators and accommodation providers so that we can encourage best practice. Those signing up for our Customer Care Charter will be publicly recognised and commit to prominent price displays and ensuring best quality and value-for-money food and beverages.
"Festivals and events like this provide a great chance to reintroduce Waterford to people who may not have visited for some time as well as to introduce it from scratch to those who have not been here previously. Their experiences while here will determine whether they return and shape the type of powerful word-of-mouth they deliver to family and friends afterwards."
Michael Garland said Waterford Chamber is confident that its members and others in business in Waterford will behave responsibly while seizing business opportunities across the four days. "There's been tremendous voluntary and professional work done by a great many people to prepare for Waterford's hosting of this huge international event and I am very confident that none of that good work will be undone by excessive price hikes to coincide with the influx of visitors.
"Waterford could not possibly host so major a gathering without great teamwork and substantial direct support from Waterford businesses underpins the funding of the event from the public sector. Waterford could not wish for a better promotional platform than The Tall Ships Races so there's an onus on business owners to act responsibly around pricing so the visitor experience is a positive one throughout. Every visitor this summer is a potential visitor in 2012, 2013 and beyond."
Waterford City Council and Port of Waterford are the lead delivery agencies for The Tall Ships Races 2011 in Waterford having successfully bid to host the race series which previously started from Waterford in 2005. Bulmers Original Irish Cider, 3 and Waterford Crystal are host port partners while RTÉ are media partners and Waterford Institute of Technology are education partners. Waterford's hosting of the race series is also supported by Fáilte Ireland.
The Tall Ships Races are presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International. Further information on The Tall Ships Races 2011 in Waterford is available at http://www.waterfordtallshipsrace.ie and http://www.facebook.com/enjoywaterford or by calling 051-849640.
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