Clare Tourism Sector Unites To Combat Economic Downturn

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Tue Nov 18 2008

The Clare Tourism Forum described the event as an opportunity for the sector to refocus its marketing strategy in light of the global economic downturn.

The first Clare tourism brochure to be produced in more than a decade was launched at the event, which also featured the launch of the Clare Live the Life 2009/2010 calendar and the presentation of prizes to winners of the ‘Shoot the Mood of Clare’ competition.

"The challenges facing the local tourism sector are significantly different from what they were when the Clare Tourism Forum was established three years ago": explained Forum Chairperson Richard Nagle.

He added: "The continued weakening of the British Pound and the US Dollar coupled with the strengthening of the Euro is the leading contributing factor to the sharp drop in overseas visitors to County Clare. The decline has been exacerbated by the slowdown in economic growth in Ireland and the main source markets, as well as the emergence of cheaper holiday destinations."

According to the Central Statistics Office there was an 11% drop in North American visitor numbers in August, a 7% decline from mainland European countries and a drop of 1% on British numbers. The Shannon region was one of the worst affected areas of the country, where 81% of accommodation outlets reported a drop in business.

"The only sector that showed any growth was the domestic tourist market, which remains an integral part of the Clare Tourism Forum’s overall marketing strategy. As one unit, the members of the Clare Tourism Forum have been able to pool their resources into establishing Clare as the preferred tourist destination in lreland. The Forum has worked hard to develop a marketable brand that will reap benefits for everyone concerned": Cllr. Nagle commented.

Maureen Cleary, Marketing Executive for the Clare Tourism Forum expressed confidence that the collaborative strategy being adopted by Forum members to sustaining and developing tourism within the county would help reverse the decline in visitor numbers.

She continued: "The Clare Tourism Forum is committed to reinforcing the county’s status as a domestic and international tourist destination alike. This commitment is underlined by the production of the first County Clare tourism brochure in over ten years. We are confident that members of the tourism industry and wider business community in Clare will embrace and support the marketing drive dedicated to our County."

Commenting on last evening’s event, Ms. Cleary said: "It was encouraging to see all sectors of the local tourism industry represented, including accommodation providers, Vintners and the main tourism bodies. There is a very real commitment among all tourism agencies and operators to participate in a unified approach to addressing common issues facing the sector. I am confident that the Forum’s strategic and collaborative approach will result in a sustained increase in visitor numbers to Clare in 2009."

The new Clare Live the Life Brochure, which was launched by Councillor Richard Nagle, contains a rich variety of stunning pictures from around the County and a flavour of what Clare has to offer potential visitors. The calendar was launched by forum member Paul Madden of the Templegate Hotel in Ennis, while Mayor of Clare Councillor Taylor Madeleine Taylor Quinn announced the winners of the ‘Shoot the Mood of Clare’ photography competition.

Last evening’s event also afforded those in attendance an opportunity to sample local produce from such providers as The Burren Smokehouse, Cratloe Hill Sheep Cheeses and Kelly’s Butchers. Entertainment was provided by local Irish traditional musicians.

Meanwhile, the event will be featured by RTE Nationwide early in the New Year.

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.

For more on the Clare Tourism Forum see, telephone 065-6846462 or email


Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Dunphy Public Relations
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