People visit Ireland for various reasons: the beautiful landscapes; family or heritage; the Guinness! But another reason is because of a love of Irish literature leads you to seek out the places that inspired the writing. Take a survey and help develop the preservation and investment in Ireland's cultural history.
It could be the lyricism of W.B. Yeats - "A terrible beauty is born" - the deep emotional connection to the natural world in John McGahern’s fiction, or the growing pains of Sally Rooney’s young people. These writers are all from Ireland, and their books could not exist without those geographical, political, and natural contexts.
Two researchers from Cardiff Metropolitan University (Dr Emmet McLoughlin and Dr Nick Taylor-Collins) are now conducting research into this question: The extent to which an interest in or knowledge of Irish literature motivates tourist visits to Ireland.
The Republic of Ireland is an international holiday destination, attracting global visitors because of its unique landscape, cosmopolitan lifestyle, and (importantly) investment in its cultural history. In particular, the researchers are interested in visits to the west coast of Ireland because, while a big part of the Irish tourism industry, much less research has investigated this area than the east coast hub of Dublin.
Dr. Nick Taylor-Collins is a Senior Lecturer in English literature and has researched Irish literature for over ten years, while Dr. Emmet McLoughlin lectures in tourism and events management. Dr. McLoughlin completed his Ph.D. at the Institute of Technology in Sligo - in the heart of the west coast of Ireland that he now researches.
The researchers envisage that the data generated from this project can help tourism providers recognize the value of the literary tourism market on the west coast of Ireland, and to help develop resources and travel plans that capitalize on the interest in literary tourism. Tourists will be the ultimate beneficiaries, with the research helping to make visits to the west coast of Ireland even more meaningful and informative.
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