Ms Mary O Keeffe

Jt Lecturer

Contact Details

Business & Social Sciences Central
Office D1033
Faculty of Business & Social Sciences
ATU, Sligo

E: mary.okeeffe


Mary O'Keeffe is a Tourism / Marketing Lecturer at Atlantic Technological University, Sligo. 
Mary previously worked with CERT, providing educational training services to the Irish tourism sector. As a Guest Lecturer at the Florida University, Valencia, Spain, she developed a new module on Experiential Tourism Marketing. Mary also supervises undergraduate and postgraduate research dissertations. Recent research interests include heritage tourism and social value creation, community tourism engagement and service experience excellence in tourism settings. Mary was involved in hosting THRIC 2017 (Tourism and Hospitality Research Conference) at ATU, Sligo. She is a member of the Sustainable Tourism & Visitor Experience Lab at ATU. This cross campus ATU initiative helps address the environmental, social, cultural, & economic challenges facing tourism by supporting and promoting an evidence based approach to sustainable destination planning and management ( 

Research Interests

Social Value Creation and Heritage Tourism - Community Tourism / Empowering Local Communities  / Development of Heritage Tourism Projects / Service Quality & Customer Care in Tourism & Hospitality Sector

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
(2020) CUA (Connacht-Ulster Alliance) Research Symposium,
Mary O' Keeffe (2020) Social Value Through Heritage Tourism, Abstract and Poster. [Poster Presentation (Refereed)], CUA (Connacht-Ulster Alliance) Research Symposium, Sligo, 16th-17th January . [Details]
(2020) 3rd International Conference of Tourism Research, (ICTR 2020) Universidad Europea de Valencia, March 2020,
Mary O' Keeffe (2020) Accepted Working Paper Series -Heritage Tourism and Social Value : Jackie Clarke, Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Legacy. [International Refereed Conference], 3rd International Conference of Tourism Research, (ICTR 2020) Universidad Europea de Valencia, March 2020, Valencia, Spain 2020 . [Details]
(2019) THRIC 2019 (Tourism, Hospitality Research in Ireland),
Mary O' Keeffe (2019) Conference Proceedings : Abstract & Poster Presentation Heritage Tourism & Social Value Creation. [Published Abstract], THRIC 2019 (Tourism, Hospitality Research in Ireland), Athlone Institute of Technology . [Details]

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Failte Ireland & Teagasc Agri-tourism in Rural Communities 15-OCT-18 / 15-OCT-18
Book Reviewer - Publisher Taylor & Francis Group - Routledge Reviewer / Book Proposal / Tourism Entrepreneurship 01-JUN-22 / 31-AUG-22
EuroCHRIE18 TU Dublin/DIT. Post-Grad Tourism Research Symposium 06-NOV-19 / 09-SEP-20
Sustainable Travel Ireland Inspiring Sustainable Tourism Inaugural Conference 27-NOV-19 / 27-NOV-19
Valencia / Florida University International Teaching -Guest Lecturer 22-FEB-16 / 26-FEB-16


  Committee Function From / To
THRIC 2017 Tourism Organising Committee Member - Academic Review Panel 2017 / 2017
Our Rural Future/ Town Centre First Plan Steering Group Committee Member 2022 / 2025


  Employer Position From / To
CERT (State Tourism & Hospitality Training Provider) Trainer / Instructor /
NUI Cork (University College Cork) Research Assistant / Tutorial Support /


  Year Institution Qualification Subject
1986 Trinity College Dublin Management & Marketing
1986 Dublin Institute of Technology Hospitality Management
1996 NUI Cork (University College Cork) Research Masters

Outreach Activities


Provide heritage tourism mentoring and advice to Killala Town Centre First Plan & Community Council on tourism promotion and product development initiatives including -In Humbert's Footsteps Gathering Festival and North Mayo Irish Traditional Music Summer School. Also Killala Application for EDEN 2017 / Destination of Excellence shortlist.    

Other Activities


Visiting Lecturer - Erasmus Programme - Valencia International Teaching Week

Teaching (Spring 2016)- Experiential Tourism Marketing Module 

Jan 2021 On-line Research Integrity Training Module Completed  

Teaching Interests

As a core Tourism / Marketing Lecturer, Mary delivers a range of taught modules, including Tourism Destination Management, Experiential Tourism Marketing, Cultural & Creative Tourism, Tourism Entrepreneurship, Community Tourism Capacity Building and Innovative Tourism Customer Service. 

Also as an Applied Marketing / Tourism Research Tutor, students are guided through the process of research to conduct and complete a market research study on behalf of a real-life client company / organisation. Mary also provides mentoring and tutor support to research students completing (L8) undergraduate and (L9 / MSc) post-graduate dissertations.

Recent Postgraduates

  Graduation Student Name University Degree Thesis
2018 Valerie Horan Institute of Technology, Sligo MSc How Do Irish Social Entrepreneurs Market Ventures to Consumers
2017 David Kruse Sligo Regional College MSc Building Brand Loyalty - A Study of Small Local Food Producers

External Collaborators

  Name Organisation / Institute Country
Community Tourism Project Belturbet Community Development Association IRELAND
Community Tourism Project Hazelwood Heritage Society IRELAND
2017 EDEN Application / Shortlisted Mayo North IRELAND