Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business


Continuing Education

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Wright


Abstract: Communities are motivated to host festivals and events for a myriad of reasons. They generate important economic and social benefits for an area with increased visitor numbers, increased local spending and greater community cohesion. Festival and event tourism is an important segment of the overall tourism product in Ireland, particularly in an area such as Kerry where there is a heavy reliance on tourism. Many festivals and events in Kerry are organised by community and voluntary groups and yet these groups are increasingly pressurised to increase the professionality of their offering to compete for regional funding and sponsorship. Changes need to be made to how these festivals and events are supported in order to avoid increasing levels of events ceasing operation and new organisers becoming discouraged from setting up new innovative festivals. Furthermore, in an era where rural residents in Kerry have a predominantly ageing population these festivals and events bring vitality and foster community engagement in an area. While there is a growing body of research dedicated to community festivals and events, there is little focus on the supports that are necessary to sustain them. This research aims to address that deficiency in an Irish context, concentrating on the Kerry Local Authority area. This research study looked at festivals in key Kerry tourism areas, Dingle, Killarney, Kenmare, Killorglin and Listowel. Ten community festival organisers gave in-depth interviews and voiced their pride in their events, the challenges that they face and the solutions they feel would mitigate those challenges. This research has identified support measures which are both practical and easily implemented through current support frameworks that could bolster the existing community festivals and events in Kerry and ease the path of new entrants into the sphere.

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