Developing Doe castle as a heritage centre
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Doe Castle a National Monument has been considered by many people in the local community as a built heritage that has potential to be further developed in the interest of tourism and for the benefit of the local people in Sheephaven Bay. It is acknowledge that heritage can bring economic benefits to rural regions, and the development of Doe Castle into a heritage centre would heighten the profile of this area and bring greater tourism acclaim by further enhancing the offerings to visitors that visit or may consider visiting County Donegal and this region. This dissertation focuses on the understanding of heritage, the features of a heritage tourist, the importance of management and sustainability and how marketing plays an overall role in the development of a heritage site. A further focus is on the importance of stakeholders working together in partnership, understanding that there can be conflicts within this partnership that must be managed if a successful outcome is to be achieved. An extensive study was carried out on relevant literature and practical research was implemented, the latter involved three methods of primary research, a survey, semi-structure in-depth interviews and focus group interview. The survey findings gave an overview of the profile, perceptions and views of visitors that visited Glenveagh National Park, a destination that is both a natural reserve and a place of heritage, it provided an understanding of the relationship that the heritage/cultural tourist has with the visited site and reinforced opinions taken from the literary review. It also confirmed that when a site is managed well visitors return again and promote the site by word of mouth a most powerful marketing tool. Appreciating the views of the various stakeholders both the government bodies that have charge of the site and the local communities have shown that small steps will be necessary over several years to achieve the full potential development of Doe Castle. The willingness of all the stakeholders to consider development ideas and work together was a positive finding. The conclusion shows that the stakeholders including potential visitors will gain positively from the development of Doe Castle. The government bodies directly in charge of the site will benefit from further conservation/preservation, the local community from extra visitors and another local attraction, and Failte Ireland from an improved offering in Sheephaven Bay which will further enhance Donegal’s future as a vibrant tourist destination. II If sustainability is to be achieved at the site it will require a good story, excellent management, the right target market and overall marketing. It was discovered that some visitors to Glenveagh National Park were interested in Doe Castle and the Park would be willing to partner with the site in the future. The recommendations are to bring together members of the local community and various government bodies interested in this project. Create a long term vision for Doe Castle with short term gains along the way that will help advance the project gradually and sustainably. Gain understanding of the target market that would suit the site and how they can be reached and further investigate similar sites in Ireland or abroad and learn from their experiences.
- Theses - Business LYIT 
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