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Cliffs of Moher Experience Hosts Tourism Scholarship

June 27th 2022,

Clare County Council has partnered with the University of Limerick (UL) to sponsor a new PhD Scholarship Programme at the Cliffs of Moher Experience.

Photograph by Eamon Ward

Geraldine Enright Director of the Cliffs of Moher Experience, Bobby Kerr, Ernesto Sanchez, Jim Deegan, Professor of Tourism Policy and Director of the National Centre for Tourism Policy Studies, Leonard Cleary and Eoin Flanagan Human Resource Manager at the Cliffs of Moher Experience.

Working with UL’s National Centre For Tourism Policy Studies (NCTPS) and The Kemmy Business School, Ireland’s most visited natural attraction this week welcomed the sponsored PhD student Ernesto Sanchez as part of the tourism research project he will undertake over the next four years.

The structured PhD programme will focus challenges and opportunities of responding to a paradigm shift in the tourism marketplace, including visitor experience, sustainable tourism, destination and visitor management and the role of technology in shaping tourism.

“This programme represents an excellent opportunity to collaborate with the University of Limerick in generating important research that will help to define and shape the future of tourism in Clare,” commented Geraldine Enright, Director of the Cliffs of Moher Experience.

Ms. Enright added, “In addition to providing Ernesto a monetary sum to support his academic studies and research, the scholarship will present him with a unique opportunity to develop key relationships with other visitor attraction sites and tourism businesses within the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark and the wider county.”

Jim Deegan, Professor of Tourism Policy and Director of the National Centre for Tourism Policy Studies, commented, “Work undertaken by our Research Centre is constantly evolving to reflect new academic interests, market trends and policy problems. The leading market position held by the Cliffs of Moher Experience makes it an ideal case study for present and future tourism development in Ireland.”

Leonard Cleary, Director of Rural Development, Clare County Council, stated, “We are delighted to support Ernesto in his studies through this PhD Scholarship Programme. Tourism is emerging from a challenging period, and it is important that new challenges and opportunities for the sector are identified. The research output will aid ongoing efforts to maintain the Cliffs of Moher as Ireland’s foremost natural attraction, grow the Cliffs of Moher’s contribution to County Clare in a sustainable way and protect the site for future generations.”

It is anticipated that the PhD sponsorship programme will become part of an ongoing strategic partnership between Clare County Council and the University of Limerick.