IMA Annual Conference

2017 Irish Museums Association Annual Conference

Cultural Tourism and the Contemporary Museum

3-4 March 2017, Galway

Conference brief

A themed conference, the 2017 conference - under the title Cultural Tourism and the Contemporary Museum - invited members and professionals working in (and with) museums and other cultural institutions to examine and debate the principles for successful and sustainable cultural heritage tourism and the museums' role in its development. How museums can attract visitors while at the same time preserving the authenticity that makes them unique and attractive in the first place?

Cultural heritage tourism is one of the key drivers within the tourism industry and is a powerful economic development tool. With a large percentage of visitors to Ireland participating in cultural activities through visits to museums, the importance of our collection-based institutions in attracting both national and international tourists is beyond doubt.

Many museums find they must prioritise tourist visitors and prove their worth to the local and national economy in order to secure public funding and other revenue streams in an increasingly challenging financial climate. As a result, they need to gain a better understanding of tourist behaviour and be able to produce meaningful data which reflects their contribution to the cultural tourism sector. Developing their potential to attract tourists has become a key factor for many museums when it comes to the creation of effective and sustainable development strategies. Despite the greater focus on issues such as self-generated revenues and marketing opportunities, museums must also continue to meet their core responsibilities in relation to caring, preserving and exhibiting their collections and fulfilling their educational mandate.

This conference was presented with the support of Galway City Museum and the financial support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Heritage Council. 

2017 Conference Programme

2017 Conference Abstracts