touRRoir: A Unified Force for Good in
Food Tourism and Culture

23 & 24 April 2018 – National University of Ireland, Galway
Join the conversation #tourroir18

Forum Programme

Date: Tuesday 24th April 2018
Venue: Bailey Allen Hall, National University of Ireland, Galway



Welcome: Margaret Jeffares, Founder and Managing Director, Good Food Ireland

09.45 Food Tourism & Culture: A Unified Force for Good

Forum Moderator: Noel Toolan, Consultant and Marketing Change Agent

10.00 Session 1- Authentic Collaboration by Design

Food and Culture are primary Tourism drivers and destination defining elements. But the existence of unique cultural and gastronomic experiences is not a guarantee of tourism success. Hear how stakeholders can collaborate to design and activate a robust business or destination story that creates sustainable social and economic benefits.

Presenter: Bruce MacMillan, CEO, Bandwidth Management & Consulting, USA
Panel Discussion: Kevin Shannon, Managing Director, Odyssey International Group; Dearbhaill Standún, Co-Founder/Owner, Cnoc Suain; Niall Rochford, General Manager, Ashford Castle; Aoibheann McNamara, Owner,  Ard Bia at Nimmos

10.40 Session 2 – Getting your Community on the Global Culinary Map

Food and sustainability advocate Fia Gulliksson has been successfully combining the food and culture sectors, engaging and activating local communities to create real commercial enterprises, events and festivals. Find out how to create GOOD FOOD ecosystems with real profits! meaning green, social, cultural, local and economic gains.

Presenter: Fia Gulliksson, Chef & CEO, Food in Action, SWEDEN
Panel Discussion: Rachel Collins, Editor, The Irish Times Magazine; Birgitta Hedin-Curtin, The Burren Smokehouse; Mark Murphy, Dingle Cookery School


11.30 Session 3 – Food Experience at the Heart of the Destination Brand

Tourism Australia and Partners collaborated to change the perception of the clichéd view of Australia’s food and presented itself as the “World’s greatest Restaurant” by serving up unique food and wine experiences. Hear about the campaign, lessons learnt, industry activation issues, winning top level government support, the importance of social media and what would be done differently next time round.

Presenter: John Hart, Executive Director, Restaurant & Catering, AUSTRALIA
Panel Discussion: Peter Ward, Country Choice; Judy Murphy, Arts Editor, Connaught Tribune; Zack Gallagher, Irish Blogger and Chef, Robb Walsh, US Food Writer, Author and Restaurant Owner

12.05 Session 4 – Cultural and Creative Enterprises Driving Sustainable Business

Professional strategic commercial management in Cultural and Creative Enterprises is an increasingly essential requirement and the importance of authenticity and rooting of culture is providing real opportunity for “commercial culture”. Hear how to balance the social and commercial angles of cultural/creative enterprises; build an international network; best align stakeholders and build sustainable legacy benefits.

Presenter: Dr Lidia Varbanova, International Consultant & Educator, CANADA
Panel Discussion: Eve-Anne Cullinan, Founding Director, M.CO; Jim Power, Managing Director, Jim Power Economics; Colman Andrews, Vice President; Tim Husbands MBE, CEO Westport House and Hotel Westport

12.40 SLIDO 1 – Audience Morning Conclusions & Interaction

Conclusions from the Morning discussions, using dynamic mobile software, we will crowdsource a selection of questions from our audience and capture and share top insights

12.45 In Conversation with:

H.E. Ms Carmen McEvoy, Ambassador of Peru

How did Peru become the World’s Leading Culinary Destination as selected by The World Travel Awards? Peru’s gastronomic rise to the top over the past 15 years has become a source of national pride and a motor of the economy, as rising numbers of tourist travel to sample its original and varied cuisine.

13.00 Interview with touRRoir18 Hall of Fame Honourees and International Chefs

Matt Percival, Executive Producer & Commissioning Editor, CNN Vision; Julia Cosgrove, Vice President & Editor in Chief, AFAR Media; Fern Allen, Ballymaloe House

13.30 LUNCH 

14.30 Session 5 – Craft or just Crafty? The Battle for Trust

In Food Tourism and Culture and in most other sectors these days, the quest for authenticity and truth is becoming increasingly important. Enterprises realise that provenance, source and even commercial practices are important to consumers and technology has transformed consumers’ ability to uncover the truth in any case! Hear why authenticity is what’s really driving consumer choice.

Presenter: Helen King, Director of Consumer Insight & Innovation, Bord Bia
Panel Discussion: Joe Healy, President, Irish Farmers Association; Jack Teeling, Founder and Managing Director, Teeling Whiskey Company; Stefan Griesbach, Managing Director, Gannet Fishmongers; Tarja Silvani, Finland and Executive Chef

15.05 Session 6 – Communication Nation – Room to Improve?

A huge effort is being made by Ireland to communicate better internationally – with some undoubted success in food, tourism and culture coming from non-traditional projects like #globalgreening; as well as from private initiatives like the Web Summit. All of these significant successes are by their nature cross-sectoral in terms of effort and reward. But could we do better? How can we be sure we are shaping appropriate motivating content and really getting through the mass media fog? Is there a better way to ensure that cross-sector co-operation is the default modus operandi rather that the exceptional exception?

Presenter: Ciaran O’ Gaora, Managing Director, Zero-G, IRELAND
Panel Discussion: Niall Tracey, Director of Marketing, Failte Ireland; Eoghan O’ Mara Walsh, CEO, Irish Tourism Industry Confederation; Mark Henry, Central Marketing Director, Tourism Ireland;  Una FitzGibbon, Marketing Director, Bord Bia; Karen Hennessy, CEO, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland

15.25 SLIDO 2 -Audience Conclusions & Interaction 2

Using dynamic mobile software, we will crowdsource a selection of questions from our audience and capture and share top insights

15.45 Session 6 – Ireland West Food Tourism Culture – Rhyming

Galway, West of Ireland’s designation as European Region of Gastronomy as well as Galway’s designation as European City of Culture combined with the increasing significance of the Wild Atlantic Way is a great example of Food Tourism and Culture co-operation for the economic benefit of a region. Hear what’s happening and how can we make it even better?

Presenter: Sinead Hennessy, Food Tourism, Failte Ireland
Introduction: Carlos Fernandes, Founding Board Member, International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism, PORTUGAL
Panel Discussion: Elaine Donohue, Programme Co-Ordinator, Galway, West of Ireland 2018 European Region of Gastronomy; John Crumlish, CEO Galway International Arts Festival; Jacinta Dalton, Head of Department of Culinary Arts & Services Industries, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology; Ronnie Counihan, General Manager, Renvyle House Hotel

16.25 Panel Wrap – So? Where to Next?

Panel Discussion: Bruce MacMillan; Fia Gulliksson; Dr Lidia Varbanova; John Hart; Carlos Fernandes;


16.45 Networking Drinks Reception and Cultural Experiences

Venue: O’ Donoghue Centre, National University of Ireland Galway
Producers: Brehon Brewhouse, Co Monaghan; Mr Jeffares Blackcurrants, Co Wexford; Teeling Whiskey Company, Dublin; Shortcross Gin, Co Down; Attyflin Estate, Co Limerick;

Shannon College of Hotel Management – Irish Coffee Making Demo & Tasting

Department of Arts, Drama and Theatre, National University of Ireland Galway present:
Black Box Theatre: Glutened! How could a harmless little protein be the cause of such havoc and hilarity? In a 20 minute excerpt from her play Glutened, writer and actor Caitríona Ní Chonaola shines a funny and insightful light on a little-known condition that is more common than people think.

Short Talk on History & Culture of Food: A short rolling illustrated talk on the history and culture of food in the West of Ireland which will look at food history on campus, the city, Connemara and the Islands through NUIG archival sources. Included will be some archive collections with photos of 1950’s Food Production – from rural to urban.

18.45 Networking Showcase Dinner – Food Tourism Culture IRELAND in Action

Venue: Bailey Allen Hall, National University of Ireland Galway
What makes Ireland so desirable? Showcase participants will serve up not just dinner but a cultural bonanza. You’ll be fully immersed in Ireland’s food culture as some 40 chefs and food producers collaborate to create a unique Irish food experience. Chefs will cook live in front of you and you will meet farmers, fishermen, butchers, bakers and cheesemakers and hear their stories as you taste their food. Get up close and personal with these food idols at this once off culinary celebration.
Full list of participants, menu and activities

21.00 touRRoir18 CLOSE

About the Forum

Useful data

Food has been recognised by the UNWTO (2012) as one of the fastest growing niches in contemporary tourism, attracting high yield visitors and promoting both seasonality and regionality.


Food Travel Culture

“Consumers have started to demand fresher, more local, more responsibly sourced food. The popularity of food tourism underscores this phenomenon, too“. Kristen Hawley, Skift

“There’s no easier way for a hotel to distinguish itself than a restaurant that doesn’t act like a hotel restaurant“, Greg Oates, Skift

“Much of the value in traveling for food involves a local connection to food, local methods of cooking, and local sourcing“. Kristen Hawley, Skift

Learn At


“To increase visitor dispersal, cities and countries are promoting local culinary and cultural tourism in partnership with regional organizations, spurred by the demand for more authentic travel experiences“, Greg Oates, Skift

…to connect with “the explosion of food-focused media and social media, farm-to-table movement among large travel brands, and the introduction of high-profile events celebrating local cuisine” (World Food Travel Association)