Cultural Tourism

National Scientific Committee on Cultural Tourism


Objectives of Cultural Tourism NSC: The objective of the NSC,  consistent with the aims of ICOMOS International, is to facilitate and encourage dialogue between conservation interests and the tourism industry in Ireland to ensure that tourism is being promoted and managed in ways that are authentic, and both respect and conserve our heritage places, collections and living cultures.  The NSC can offer advice and promote best practice examples from around the world of tourism projects with a conservation focus or outcome.

Committee Members

Convenor: Dr. Catherine Gorman is a lecturer with TU Dublin in the School of Hospitality Management and Tourism where she teaches Culture, Heritage and Tourism, Sustainable Tourism and other aspects Tourism and Leisure management. Previously, she worked with Fáilte Ireland in a development and marketing capacity, and at the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin. 

Vice President: Helena Bergin is the Senior Executive Architectural Conservation Officer for Fingal County Council where she devises policy and advises private owners as well as Council staff on appropriate works, repairs and interventions to historic buildings. Fingal County Council has a large portfolio of heritage properties in its ownership, a number of which are operated as tourist attractions such as Malahide Castle, Newbridge House, Argillan Castle and Skerries Mills.

Ordinary Members

Bill Hastings: is a Conservation Architect and lecturer with UCD School of Architecture.  He is Managing Director of ARC Architectural Consultants which is a multi-disciplinary consultancy working in the areas of architectural design, conservation, environment, graphic design, surveying, digital modelling and photomontages.

Fergal McNamara: is a conservation architect with twenty years’experience.  Prior to founding 7L Architects in 2018, he was an associate director at a leading conservation practice. He gained a MArchSc from the Urban Institute at UCD in 2002.

Marc Ritchie: is Architectural Advisor with the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Currently advising on projects in the National Parks as part of a strategic partnership between NPWS and Fáilte Ireland. For many years the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site was among his areas of responsibility. Marc coordinated development of the Government Policy on Architecture 2009-2015

Heather Shiell is an ICOMOS Emerging Professional who graduated in 2019 with an MSc in World Heritage Management from UCD and is currently working with Ulster Architectural Heritage as Projects Assistant. 

Geraldine Walsh is CEO of Dublin Civic Trust. The Trust is an independent charitable organisation that works to recognise and protect the city’s architectural heritage through research, innovation projects, policy, publications, seminars and courses. 


The CTNSC meet formally 2/3 times a year.  The meetings take place at a site/place of cultural tourism interest and focus on the programme of work and current priorities. These are guided by the annual ICOMOS theme and needs of the sector.

Programme of Work:

  • Facilitated the Maura Shaffrey Annual Memorial Lecture in 2017 by Dr. Peter Harbison; ‘The Heritage of Tourism, Keeping Sight of Sites’ 
  • Compile a compendium/toolkit of initiatives and ideas reflecting best practice and key performance indicators in cultural tourism from the Irish context, to complement the work of the ISC to develop a cultural tourism compendium;
  • Evaluate as to the impact of Covid19 on Cultural Tourism, and how it may be positioned in the future as a result of this impact;
  • Review and comment on the ICOMOS Cultural Tourism Charter;
  • Present Irish and international best practice initiatives on cultural tourism to government ministers, departments and organisations;
  • Contribute, where appropriate, to ICOMOS Ireland reports, advocacy campaigns and other correspondence;
  • Where feasible, work in partnership and collaborate with ICOMOS Ireland (NSC), ICOMOS International (ICTC), and with other relevant bodies, government agencies or institutions whose work and mission is aligned to the objective of the CTNSC;
  • Provide a platform for dialogue and cooperation between professionals, experts, academics and students of cultural heritage through meetings, conferences, workshops, lectures and other appropriate activities to further the objectives of the CTNSC.
Recent Meetings:

2019    July            Dublin Civic Trust, 18, Ormond Quay, Dublin 1.

Meeting followed by tour led by Geraldine Walsh, CEO, Dublin Civic Trust 

2019      October     Newbridge House, Donabate, Co. Dublin.