Innovation Network Event Tuesday 24th March 2015

Data Supporting Tourism

Conference Over-view

This Dublinked Event certainly set the scene by choosing Malahide Castle as its back-drop, this is a place of beauty and utility meshed together within a land-scape of tastefully manicured lawns and modern conferencing facilities. While the mind can be focused on the detail of the professional presentations of the main speakers, there is room for the mind to take a break and reflect in a place of calm and tranquillity, punctuated by the soft calls of the wandering Pea-cocks.


The Castle casts a shadow over the ancient and the modern, what would the craftsmen and stone-masons of the 12th Century have thought about discussions and presentations relating to Big Data in the 21st Century by Fingal and South Dublin County Councils.

This Dublinked conference presented a tasteful mix of Big Data Practitioners, Tourism experts, Academic Professionals and idea generating entrepreneurs.

The facilities were great, the food appetising and the information sharing welcomed.

Big Data Latest

Dominic Byrne, Head of IT, at Fingal County Council

Dominic Byrne, Head of IT, at Fingal County Council, explained how Fingal County Council were now utilising Big Data to ensure that they are in a position to deliver the best services and facilities possible to those home-based and international tourist who visit the region, Dominic using Malahide Castle as a prime example of what is on offer to those visitors who choose Malahide for their short break or holiday.


Pauline Riordan, Dublinked Manager

Pauline Riordan, Dublinked Manager explained how Dublinked in partnership with various bodies including Fingal County Council were leading the way in Big Data innovation, new ways were being discovered to open up data to those who wished to develop new technologies to ensure that those providing goods and services to the Tourist industry were best placed to deliver the very best that can be expected from both national and international guests.

Eoin Mac Donncha from Failte Ireland

Eoin Mac Donncha from Failte Ireland presented an interesting case for how Failte Ireland is supporting tourism through various Big Data initiatives and how Failte Ireland are now offering open data sets through their various portals. Eoin showed that Failte Ireland are presenting information in a user friendly way such as their One Listing, Many Views approach to bringing information to an easily readable platform and everyone can benefit from Ireland-Content-Pool.com.

Joerg Steegmueller, Dublin Event Guide

Joerg Steegmueller, Dublin Event Guide, cautioned that not everyone may be in favour of Big Data being opened up fully to the public, and this ‘exclusive’ use of data by commercial entities means that some people are making money from retaining data for their own use, and if Big Data does go public, can listings and so forth be manipulated by unscrupulous users. Joerg Steegmueller, Dublin Event Guide, epitomises all that is good about the entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and commitment to hard-work.

Niall O’Brolchain, Digital Repository of Ireland and Insight Centre for Data Analytics

Niall O’Brolchain, Digital Repository of Ireland and Insight Centre for Data Analytics exclusively unveiled The PLOT Project, a new interactive and innovative App that will bring new life to many walks of life, beginning with a Dublin Walking Tours test drive, and hopefully becoming available by the end of April 2015 so that it may be firmly tested by some real time shoe-leather, an exciting project with global possibilities.

Dr Sheila Flanagan, Head of Learning Development, College of Arts and Tourism DIT

Dr Sheila Flanagan, Head of Learning Development, College of Arts and Tourism DIT, brought some sobering ideas to the conference, as to how, important agencies such as Fingal and South Dublin County Councils could work together with other key stake-holders in such initiatives as Fingal Tourism Strategy to bring much needed tourist trade to the region and with that tourist trade much needed economic growth that could help fund many new initiatives and possibly over-come such infrastructural issues a lack of bus stop amenities, taxi ranks, and dare we say ‘pot-holes’.


Dr Flanagan explained how DIT (ACHIEV) could be utilised, and how key terms such as Monitoring progress, Bench-marking, Destination Management could be applied to any initiative in order to ensure that Big Data is providing a Return on Investment for those who wish to drive traffic to their chosen destination.

Breakout and Feedback Session

This short discussion forum, was short and this possibly did not allow for an inclusive discussion on many burning issues, however, it was a worthwhile starting point and allowed for one-to-one interaction between participants and the guest speakers as they mingled with tea/coffee and beautifully presented platters.

Well done to all concerned and many thanks to the Management and Staff of Malahide Castle.

Keywords: Dublinked, Innovation Network Event, Data Supporting Tourism, Fingal County Council

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