Thursday 30 July 2009

Organic food is BAD for you

Well not quite true but it's a good headline. A report was published yesterday for the Food Standards Agency by the very impressive sounding 'Nutrition and Public Health Intervention Unit, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine', comparing organical Versus "conventionally" produced foods. In terms of nutritional value they found no added health benefits from consuming organic rather than any other type of produced food. However that said the reason many people choose organic food is to do with other factors. (this is my own research now) My basis for buying organic would be to do with supporting farming in a traditional manner, to support a method which tries to avoid polluting the environment with pesticides etc. Come to think of it i'd never given any thought to the nutrition value or properties of an organic rather than a "conventionally" grown potato

Friday 24 July 2009

omlettes are not made without breaking eggs

While reading something else recently i came across this delicious quote by Charles De Gaulle "HOW CAN YOU GOVERN A COUNTRY THAT HAS 246 VARIETIES OF CHEESE."
It got me checking whether the library had any books of food quotations. There are a couple: The cook's quotation book and Cooks Quotations. But while they contain many gems from Napoleon "an army marches on it's stomach" to Miss Piggy "Never eat more than you can lift" they are both rather slight. No index of authors or subjects or by word which would be good if you wanted to find quotes say only on cheese. So the search is on for a comprehensive, decent book of food related quotation.
and is it true, to paraphrase Brillat-Savarin, that you are what you eat? Brillat-Savarin

Friday 17 July 2009

The last post

There was a famous Sun headline back in 1978 when the paper feared that the Labour party were going to win the next British Election. It went something like "WILL THE LAST ONE TO LEAVE PLEASE TURN OUT THE LIGHT". That's what it feels like waking up to the Bord snip nua report Vol 1 AND Vol 2 which leaves no one untouched. You wouldn't want to be old or sick young trying to go to school, living in the country and waiting for a policeman anymore. I suggest ireland now adopt the quote to be found at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty "bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses...."
So what effects for our tourist industry? Well the report recommends a full year expenditure saving in the dept of Arts, Sports & Tourism of 105mill euros and they could reduce their staff while they're at it by 170. Therefore, they conclude if you're going to make such savings anyway you might as well "transfer the functions to other deptarments. " There is significant duplication in the dept - so lets get rid of, (sorry) "discontinuation" of Sports Campus Ireland and the Irish Film Board. There is a proposed reduction in allocation to Failte Ireland of 15m euros (sure wasn't there a 74% increase in their staff numbers between 2004 and 2007) and 12m to the Tourism Marketing Fund. There's also saving to be had at Tourism Ireland but as it's a cross border body they decline to say just how much could be cut there.

Tuesday 14 July 2009

Can't live with them, can't fly without them

love them or hate them you gotta give them credit (though they'll charge you). The latest wheeze from Michael O'RiotAir is looking at the possiblility of you standing on shorthaul flights. There is an online poll currently running on the Ryanair website asking punters if they would stand if it meant free fares or if your fare was 1/2 that of a seated passenger.
On the same Ryanair news page at present there is a link under the heading "I'm still standing" to this 1 minute YouTube video from Dublin's 98FM Morning crew. It's interesting to see that from a shrewd marketing viewpoint they'll put up some things on their website that obviously harmlessly pokes fun at their image. It's all to do with the truism that there's only i thing worse that people talking about you...
Sure isn't this a bit more free publicity

Thursday 9 July 2009


There is a new tourism policy being developed - Happiness! Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland have joined forces to call on everyone in the industry to be cheerful and confident, and to spread the same feeling to tourists and everyone else.

The new SHINE campaign (web page ) aims to bring about a tourist experience which is "Spontaneous, engaging and fun!" The key to this is to change how tourism people are perceived.

As the campaign's web page says, this should centre on being:

Happiness is infectious – Enjoy what you do and that will rub off on everybody!
Having a natural curiosity which helps you deliver a great experience.
You don’t have to be a local to connect with customers. But you do have to be real, genuine, honest – people will sense and appreciate your sincerity.
Knowing your business, your locale, your customer’s needs.

Isn't this Irish kind of nice is the vital hidden ingredient which proved so elusive during the boom years? Did it disappear for ever or can we now bring it back to life?

Tuesday 7 July 2009

Come back to Erin

"Come back to Erin" is the title of an exhibition of 20th-century Irish travel posters which is taking place at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, until 27th August. Most of these posters were put out by the railways and other transport companies, and were aimed at luring emigrants, those of Irish descent, and tourists to our shores and to our nascent tourism industry.

The museum's own web page says the exhibition " features a selection of strikingly colourful travel and tourism posters spanning the decades from 1908 to the 1970s. This was a period when mass tourism began to develop and also represented a period of great growth in the advertising and marketing industry. Some of the poster images by the Irish artist Paul Henry in particular became best sellers even in the 1920s and became essential images of Ireland and traded internationally."

Well worth a visit for anyone interested in the history of irish tourism, or even just decent posters.

Wednesday 1 July 2009

another bright idea from those google people

osh, Sorry, i've been away.
There's an interesting new book in the library called What would Google do? and it seems that there is very little now that they don't do. It's not mentioned in this book, which concentrates more on the new ways of doing business in the google era, but the company is now venturing into the tourist area of that much loved pasttime - the city break. Google city tours promises to come up with itineries for visiting most major cities depending on the number of days you stay. It's still in development from Google labs and like the gum in Roald Dahl's 'Charlie and the chocolate factory' it still needs a bit of work but it's useful for suggestions and ideas. It obviously exploits the technology of google maps and like all good sites today allows you to add and suggest other attractions.