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Avea Launch – The Official Launch of AVEA at Collins Barracks May 31st 2017


AVEA – The Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions – Ireland Supporting the Businesses that deliver the ‘(Real)’ Full Irish Experience………..’

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan, today launched the new National Representative Association for the Visitor Attractions and Experiences sector in Ireland - AVEA.

The event takes place in one of the country’s leading visitors attraction The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, where the leaders of the sector were joined by other tourism industry representatives, associations and tourism agencies to launch the new organization. The Association of Visitor Experiences & Attractions, company limited by guarantee, has been formed and is headed up by a board of some of the best known individuals of Visitor Attractions and Experiences from around the country who comprise:

Chairman Paul Carty - Managing Director, Guinness Storehouse
Ann Daly - Head of Marketing, the National Museum of Ireland
Michael Counahan - Managing Director, CHL Consulting
Seán Connick - Chief Executive, John F Kennedy Trust, New Ross
Denise Brophy - Managing Director, Dublinia
Anne-Marie Diffley - Visitor Services Manager, Trinity College
Biddy Hughes - Sales and Marketing Director, Westport House
Pat Ó Súilleabháin - Managing Director, National Sea Life Centre, Bray
John Ruddle - Chief Executive, Shannon Heritage

The objectives of AVEA are to:
- Provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge, information and advice between like-minded  businesses and individuals in the Visitor Attractions & Experiences Sector
- Professionalize the Sector and promote the development of the core skills and competencies
 that it requires to drive the growth and continued success of the visitor experiences and
- Represent the Sector, demonstrate its value and advocate its interests
- Research and benchmarking in the Sector

Chairman Paul Carty said “AVEA is the culmination of a number of meetings and events that were organized over the past year. It has long been an ambition of mine and indeed shared by many others, to have this sector of the industry come together under one umbrella grouping and to have a recognized voice in the tourism industry. Visitor Attractions and Experiences are a key and integral component of the business of tourism in Ireland - we are a huge part of what motivates overseas visitors to come to Ireland. Our sector provides access to some of the country’s most important cultural and heritage sites and buildings. We tell the stories of Ireland through the ages and manage some of the most spectacular sites around the country. We are the entertainers of millions of visitors from 8 am in the morning to 10 pm at night and what we add to the overall destination experiences are holiday memories that endure for a lifetime and, when shared, encourage even more visitors to come to this great Island year after year.”

Paul Keeley, Director Business Development Failte Ireland welcomed the establishment of AVEA saying that Fáilte Ireland is very pleased to support this initiative in terms of advice and funding. A compelling portfolio of attractions is crucial to tourism and having a representative group dedicated to greater professionalism and the further development of the sector will enable us to raise our game in terms of the visitor experience. Fáilte Ireland looks forward to working hand in glove with the Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions to secure the continued growth in tourism which will be vital for generating revenue and jobs throughout the country.“

Editor’s Notes

AVEA – Association of Visitor Experience and Attractions is a national membership organization established to provide a strong voice for this sector within the Tourism Industry Membership is open to all Visitor Attractions and Experiences including Gardens, Leisure & Entertainment Visits, Museums, Galleries, Historic Buildings & Estates, Monastic Sites, Cathedrals/Churches, Farm Visits, Themed Trails (guided), Boat Trips, Evening Entertainment & Theatres.

Further information on AVEA is available from
Ruth Andrews + 353 (0)87 2713181
Paul Carty + 353 (0)1 643 5986