Estimating the economic value of Tourist Information Centres in Ireland

With visitors to destinations being able to access a wide range of information through their smartphone, there has been increasing debate about the role and value of tourist information centres within destinations.  A key consideration in such debate is the economic benefit that derives from the operation of such centres.  It was in this context that, in February of this year, TEAM was asked by Fáilte Ireland (the tourism development authority for the Republic of Ireland) to provide a method for calculating the economic benefit. 

There was not the time or funding to undertake primary research, so TEAM undertook a desk research exercise. It involved reviewing all readily available research that had been undertaken on TIC impacts – the most relevant of which were from England, Wales and Australia.  The outputs from these studies were used to develop a series of ratios that could be applied to TIC visitor data, in order to calculate impact.  On this basis, TEAM produced an interactive model that could be used to calculate the impact of each of Fáilte Ireland’s TICs according to its circumstances and visitors flows.  The work was completed within five weeks.