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Irish Tourism 1880-1980


Irene Furlong

A definitive history of Irish tourism in the100 years from 1880 – exploring the economic, cultural and social effects on Irish town and country. Lavishly produced, including 40 colour and 50 black and white photos of our top tourist destinations.

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ISBN: 9780716529453 Categories: ,


This is the first comprehensive work on the history of Irish tourism development over a hundred year period and examines its economic, cultural and social effects upon the country during this time. The majority of commentators see the history of Irish tourism as beginning in the 1960s and this book demonstrates the fact that strenuous efforts were being made to promote the country as a tourist destination from the 1880s onwards. It includes much information entering the public domain for the first time, including oral history interviews and official documents.

The main theme is the approach of the successive British and Irish administration to the question of the promotion of Irish tourism. The author highlights the role played by politicians, public servants and entrepreneurs who were dedicated to the growth of the industry as far back as the late nineteenth century. The social and cultural changes wrought by legislation dealing with the sale of alcohol, holidays with pay, protection of national monuments and training for the hotel and catering trades are also examined.

The effects of the Troubles in Northern Ireland on tourism north and south of the border is discussed, along with measures to combat the negative impression received by foreigners. The difficulties in agreeing a means of promoting tourism on an all-island basis over the decades is examined, as is the decision to make tourism the first industry to be marketed in this way.

Table of Contents

  1. Turn of the century tourism in Ireland
  2. The Irish tourist Association 1925-1939
  3. The Irish Tourist Board: marking time 1939-1945
  4. Irish civil aviation and the state
  5. False beginnings 1946-1951
  6. North of the border 1922-1980
  7. Taking tourism seriously 1951-1960
  8. Swings and roundabouts 1960-1980

About the Author

Dr Irene Furlong is an independent researcher, and was previously a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Modern History at NUI Maynooth. She has extensive experience of working in the tourism sector.