In the USA the second most common word entered into internet search engines is genealogy, second only to sex. With many people retiring younger the largest pastime is now tracing their ancestry. In the USA, Canada and Australia virtually every town has their own genealogical society and are very adept at searching genealogical sources in their own countries. However, when it comes to linking and researching their Irish ancestry, which many people in these countries have, they quite often hit a dead end. Having attended many genealogical conferences in the USA I was astounded by the perception many Americans had on what sources are available in Ireland. At one conference a highly respected American Lecturer/Genealogist gave a talk on Irish records and informed those present that research in Ireland prior to 1921 was virtually impossible. This of course is not true, however those present, especially novices to the genealogy game believed him. It is only over the past year or so with the attendance of the Irish Family History Foundation at these conferences that the real story regarding Irish genealogy is being told.
Unfortunately when many tourists come to Ireland to research their ancestry they encounter a wall of ignorance. Ignorance in the sense that many tourism providers do not even understand what genealogy is or if they do they know absolutely nothing about it. Genealogy Ireland employees have witnessed many instances of misinformation over the years, where a tourist researching their ancestry in a particular county are directed to Belfast or Dublin to the main repositories when the sources the tourist was after was available in the county. Quite often the tourist is told the tourism provider knows nothing about genealogy. When you consider a genealogy tourist wants to visit the area of origin of their ancestor, visit the homestead, church, school and other places of interest relevant to their ancestor. The most important factor in this is that the tourist wants to stay in the locality. If the tourist has a good experience a return visit (quite often with additional family members) is always planned.
Genealogy Ireland recognises the lack of understanding in Ireland regarding genealogy. We have designed speciality training packages for the various tourism providers to give their staff an understanding of Irish genealogy. These tourism packages can be tailored to meet any company/organisation who deals with the public. Our tourism packages cater for the following;
- Tourist Information Centres
- Bed and Breakfast Accommodation providers
- Local Government Authorities
- Vintners Associations
- Family History Centres
- Tourist Attraction staff
- Airport/Seaport staff
- Taxi/coach drivers
- Local community groups
- Other interested groups
Genealogy Ireland tourism packages are tailored to meet the requirements of any particular group. Some of our packages can be delivered in one day, whilst others are delivered over a set period or on occasions on and annual basis to allow new staff to be aware of what is available and to refresh existing staff.
For further information or for a member of Genealogy Ireland to meet you to discuss a tourism package please contact us.