Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Business and Social Studies

First Advisor

Dr Sean Nagle


This study has been carried out at a time when Tralee is trying to develop a viable tourism industry and aims at analysing the impact of this process. It studies Tralee s transition over the last decade from being a commercial town to becoming a recognised tourist destination. The present state of the local tourism product is portrayed and fixture courses of action suggested. This analysis is conducted utilising the views of tourists, tourism operators in the town and current industry thinking. Relevant hterature is examined and questionnaire surveys of tourists and accommodation providers were administered and their results investigated. A focus group discussion involving tourism suppUers, state bodies and others with a vested interest in tourism is recorded and studied. International trends in the tourism industry and the Irish Government's policies are examined to better understand the external pressures that have a bearing on Tralee's tourism evolution. The study establishes that tourism providers in the area with a narrow focus, whether private or public, need to identify their niche through market segmentation and targeting, and supply the niche with a quality tourism product that does not compromise the town's greatest asset, its cultural, social and economic environment. This would help secure the locality's long term economic viability. In a broader sense there is a need for a clearer and more practical understanding of sustainability among local tourism providers along with an inherent acceptance and implementation of the marketing concept. Realisation of the emerging implications and benefits of partnership and communitarianism in terms of pedagogy, politics and scale has been slow to take root. Specific product determinants such as quality and seasonality have assumed greater importance in recent times but the potential of others such as market segmentation and special interest tourism has yet to achieve appropriate recognition.

Access Level