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Rebranding exercise for Clare Tourism

Clare tourism representatives pictured with Minister for Tourism Michael Ring (centre) at the Holiday World Show in Dublin at the weekend. Also pictured (left-to right) Lisa Glynn and Liz Sena from Clare Coast Hotels; Maurice Walsh, Durty Nellys; Maureen Ledwith, Holiday World Show; Luke Ashton, Loop Head Peninsula; Martin Waldron, Burren Ecotourism Network, Maureen Cleary, Clare Tourism; Séamus  Mac Mathúna, Music Makers of West Clare; and Christy Sinclair, Burren Adventures.

Clare tourism representatives pictured with Minister for Tourism Michael Ring (centre) at the Holiday World Show in Dublin at the weekend. Also pictured (left-to right) Lisa Glynn and Liz Sena from Clare Coast Hotels; Maurice Walsh, Durty Nellys; Maureen Ledwith, Holiday World Show; Luke Ashton, Loop Head Peninsula; Martin Waldron, Burren Ecotourism Network, Maureen Cleary, Clare Tourism; Séamus Mac Mathúna, Music Makers of West Clare; and Christy Sinclair, Burren Adventures.

The renaming of the Clare Tourism Forum as Clare Tourism is one of a number of agreed outcomes of a structural and operational review of the group responsible for the tourism marketing and promotion of County Clare.

Clare Tourism has announced a broadened approach to engage with the wider tourism sector including the establishment of a Steering Group featuring representatives of five geographical areas, namely Ennis, West Clare, North Clare, East Clare and South Clare.

Among the actions outlined in its Structure & Implementation Plan is the distribution of a Festival & Events Guide and the removal of membership fees and greater engagement with key stakeholders.

The series of measures and the nomination process for the proposed new Steering Group will be confirmed at a Clare Tourism Networking Event in Treacy’s West County Hotel Ennis this Thursday (29 January, 2015).

“The goal of Clare Tourism is to create and implement an integrated tourism marketing strategy that will develop a positive and sustainable brand for County Clare and deliver a significant increase in visitor numbers,” stated Donnagh Gregson, Chair of Clare Tourism.

“Significant progress has already been made in this regard during recent years,” Ms. Gregson noted, she continued: “We are seeking to build on this progress during 2015 and the coming years through a more comprehensive process of consultation and collaboration with tourism interests in Clare and throughout the wider region. In order to position itself into the future and take advantage of new opportunities such as the increase in mainland European visitors to Clare and the continued growth in domestic tourism, Clare Tourism will engage with the wider sector initially through a series of networking events, the first of which takes place this Thursday.”

“Significant efforts have been made at local level, both through the Forum and individually by operators, to promote the County and provide excellent value at our tourist attractions, along with the County’s hotels, holiday homes and B&B’s. I wish to acknowledge the commitment of Clare’s tourism operators to maintaining their operations to a very high standard and ensuring that visitors to the County, domestic and foreign alike are provided with a unique and memorable experience. I now look forward to it building on these successes through the revised and improved Clare Tourism,” added Ms. Gregson.

Ms. Maureen Cleary, Marketing Executive for Clare Tourism explained that Clare Tourism has been structured to meet the needs of the future market and members.

“Clare Tourism Forum Working Group Members and representatives of Loop Head Tourism and the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark met in June 2014 to shape the agenda for the Forum’s future development. Following consideration of the issues raised by the group during the process and through subsequent discussions, we are confident that an improved and inclusive model for marketing and developing Clare’s tourism product has been developed.”

“While Clare Tourism will continue to market the County both at home and abroad, there will be a greater pooling of expertise and resources on the ground in Clare to meet future challenges and new opportunities within the sector. There will also be greater, direct engagements with significant stakeholders such as the Shannon Region Conference and Events Bureau, Shannon Airport, Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and other entities that can drive additional tourism activity to Clare.”

“The purpose of this Thursday evening’s Networking Event is to outline this new approach, as well as to brief the tourism sector on activities and programmes for 2015, to seek engagement from specific tourism operators on individual plans and programmes, and to afford an opportunity to those in the sector to network,” concluded Ms. Cleary.

Meanwhile, Clare Tourism will organize for Clare representatives to be at a number of domestic and international events during the months, including ITB Berlin (March), Bloom in the Park (June), Milwaukee Irish Fest (August) and the National Ploughing Championships (September). Clare Tourism last week attended the Holiday World Show in Dublin’s RDS while local tourism representatives recently returned from CMT Stuttgart in Germany, which is regarded as the world’s largest public trade fair for tourism and leisure.

Clare Tourism was originally established in 2005 to provide a collaborative approach to tourism promotion in Clare and to facilitate the efficient and effective development of the tourism industry in the county. The Forum will continue to be a public / private partnership representative of all sectors of the Clare tourism industry.

For more visit http://www.clare.ie.

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About Darren Joyce

Darren is from County Galway and joined The Clare Herald in 2014.

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