Over two million US viewers watched the official launch of County Clare’s first dedicated tourism website on US television network Fox News today.
www.clare.ie is an initiative of The Clare Tourism Forum and features information on some of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, all located within the County. The online portal also contains detailed information on accommodation and access to the County in as part of an overall effort to establish County Clare as a domestic and international tourist destination.
Announcing details of the website on Fox News ‘Wake Up’ show with esteemed US TV personality Mark Concannon, Mayor of Clare Councillor Patricia McCarthy said, “County Clare can proudly boast such world renowned tourist attractions as The Burren, Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle. However, there is much more to Clare as the new website highlights. Visitors to the site can discover information on all aspects of the County from its heritage and history to its music, traditions and culture.”
“The new website is more than just an online brochure”, explained Mayor McCarthy.
She said, “In the tourism world, keeping up with the latest trends in how people use the Internet can mean more actual visitors all year round. That is why the Clare Tourism Forum has produced an all-inclusive online source of information for anyone wishing to find out more about what County Clare has to offer.”
Today’s website launch on Fox News, one of America’s most prominent television networks, forms part of a week long promotional drive by Clare tourism interests in the US.
Leading regional agencies, including Clare County Council, the Clare Tourism Forum, Shannon Development and the Clare Tourist Council have travelled to Wisconsin to promote The Banner County to some of the estimated 140,000 people attending this week’s annual Milwaukee Irish Fest.
“With easy access to visitor information, the website provides a detailed overview of Clare’s offerings, as well as straightforward navigation”, indicated Cllr. Flan Garvey, Chairperson of The Clare Tourist Council
Liam Conneally, Clare Tourism Forum member added, “The website provides a new way of reaching potential tourists. However, it shouldn’t replace traditional methods such as actually enacting tourism promotional drives lucrative overseas markets like the USA. During this week’s Milwaukee Irish Fest, we will be hoping to build on the estimated 3000 US tourists who holidayed in County Clare in 2006 as a result of our promotional campaign here last year.”
Meanwhile, the Clare Tourism Forum is currently offering local businesses the opportunity to be profiled on the new website free of charge up until the end of 2006, underpinning the group’s collaborative approach to promoting local tourism.
According to Clare Tourism Forum member, Paul Madden of The Temple Gate Hotel, “Those involved in Clare’s tourist 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 the new website will help position Clare as a competitive and appealing destination in the domestic and international business tourism market.”
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.