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Fáilte Ireland is Ireland’s National Tourism Development Authority, established by the Irish Government in May 2003 to guide and promote the evolution of tourism as a leading indigenous component of the Irish economy.

To this end, Fáilte Ireland, working in partnership with the tourism industry, provides an extensive range of support services and business solutions designed specifically to develop and sustain Ireland as a high-quality and competitive tourism destination. Our vision for Irish tourism is that of a dynamic, innovative, sustainable and highly regarded sector offering international and domestic visitors a positive and memorable experience beyond their expectations.


Ireland’s Heritage and Cultural tourism offering is a key element of this experience for our visitors, with many of them citing it as a key motivation for them in deciding to visit Ireland. Failte Ireland has developed a number of key themes around our Heritage and Culture offering, which form the basis for our development and communications activities for this sector. These themes are based on those integral parts of our Heritage story which resonate with our visitors, and one of these themes is that of our Christian or Spiritual Heritage. The development of a tourist offering around this theme gives a focus for a wide range of different tourism providers to work together to develop their product around a common concept, as well as providing the visitor with a compelling offering which delivers for them the memorable tourist experience that they’re looking for.

One of the development actions delivered recently is the Spiritual Tourism Charter. The Charter includes a service promise and a range of standards that tourism providers agree to sign up to and therefore adhere to when offering a Spiritual Heritage experience. It is a mechanism to ensure that whether a tourist to the region is visiting an attraction, participating in a retreat, or staying in accommodation, they can expect a similar high level of service related to the Spiritual Heritage offering. There are two components to the Charter, one for accommodation providers and one for guides, visitor attractions, retreats etc. Tourism providers can only receive the Charter if they have completed relevant training such as customer service, networking events etc; and signed the detailed Charter, a copy of which is attached. A Mystery Shopper annually visits all those who have signed the Charter to ensure that standards are being met.

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