Clare Tourism Delegation to Promote Ireland’s Midwest In The US Midwest

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Mon Aug 11 2008

The Clare County Council delegation, which includes Clare Tourism Forum representatives, will join officials from the Clare Tourist Council and Shannon Development at the Milwaukee Irish Fest in Wisconsin.

The Fest, established in 1981 by members of Milwaukee’s Irish community, is renowned as the world's largest Irish culture festival. Covering 74 acres of Lake Michigan's shoreline the event showcases Irish music, history, dance, sports and culture.

The festival, which runs from August 14th-17th, is also used by tourist agencies such as Fáilte Ireland and CIE Tours as an opportunity to market Ireland as a desirable tourist destination.

Commenting ahead of the trip, Mayor of Clare Councillor Madeline Taylor-Quinn said, ‘Last year, over 3000 people from the American Midwest and Northeast booked flights directly into Shannon Airport as a result of the Clare tourism delegation's presence at the Milwaukee Irish Fest. We hope to build on this result this year by encouraging even more people to visit County Clare via Shannon Airport.’

Mayor Taylor-Quinn added that the advent of open skies had made it increasingly difficult for potential American tourists to access the west of Ireland via Shannon Airport.

She explained, ‘Central Statistics Office figures for first six months of 2008 show an increase in US traffic via Dublin and a corresponding decrease in throughput via Shannon compared to the same period last year. The business, tourism and Local Government sector needs to become more proactive by engaging in the direct marketing of Shannon Airport as a gateway to County Clare and the wider region. I am delighted to be able to lead the Clare delegation to Milwaukee and am confident that County Clare will reap the benefits in 2009.’

According to Councillor Richard Nagle, Chairperson of the Clare Tourism Forum, ‘Those involved in Clare’s tourism sector face many challenges to capture and increase visitor numbers to the county as it is operating in an extremely competitive and commercial market place. I am confident, however, that this week’s promotional trip to the USA will help position Clare as a competitive and appealing destination in the North American tourism market.’

Ms. Bernadette Kinsella, Director of Services, Clare County Council, added that the Clare tourism delegation this week has an invaluable opportunity to showcase County Clare as a holiday destination to 140,000 potential tourists at the Milwaukee Irish Fest.

She said that Clare County Council regarded the Milwaukee Irish Fest as an integral part of its ongoing efforts to develop the local tourism sector and expand traffic through Shannon to the benefit of the entire Region.

"Shannon Airport is directly and indirectly responsible for over 30,000 jobs on the Western Seaboard of Ireland. Milwaukee Irish Fest offers an important and unique opportunity to increase the profile and promote access through the Airport", concluded Ms. Kinsella.

County Clare's presence at the Milwaukee Irish Fest was established in 2001 when former Mayor Cllr. Flan Garvey instigated a local tourism promotion campaign.


Notes to Editor:
- To arrange an interview/photo opportunity or for further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or
- The Clare Tourism Forum was established in November 2005 with the objective of mobilising a collaborative strategy to sustain and develop tourism within the county. Its membership includes representatives of the principle agencies involved in tourism promotion in Clare in partnership with representatives of the hotel, vintners, tourism retail and B+B sectors as well as the main local tourism attractions. Over two million US viewers watched the official launch of the Forum’s website on US television network Fox News.

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Mark Dunphy
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 00353868534900

Visit website »