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Tuning up for tourism

LOCAL businesses in Ennistymon are hoping to take advantage of the influx of tourism professionals generated by the National Tourism Conference, which takes place next weekend.
There will be music in a number of licensed premises as publicans attempt to generate business by attracting delegates into the town.
“Traditional music will be played in pubs in the town during that weekend to encourage people who attend the conference to make the most of the town and not to confine themselves just to the hotel. There are so many people coming and we want them to see the town and what it has to offer,” explained Ennistymon and District Community Organisation committee member Caroline Hueston.
This is the 21st year of the conference but according to Caroline, this is the first year a series of events have been organised to coincide with it.
“It is an opportunity that we perhaps missed in other years. There are extra people around, you do notice that. This will give delegates an opportunity to see what is going on in the evenings and listen to the traditional music,” she explained.
The National Tourism Conference, which takes place from Thursday, November 26 to Saturday, November 28, is organised by Clare Tourist Council in conjunction with Clare County Council and is expected to attract up to 170 delegates from the tourism industry across the island of Ireland and abroad.
The conference is titled Promoting Partnership in Tourism, 21 Years in Progress and features a number of guest speakers.
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will open the conference on November 27 and it will be addressed by Brian Simpson MEP who is the European Union’s Head of Transport and Tourism on Saturday.
Tom Barnum of Barnum Travel Incorporated from Milwaukee in the United States will also address the conference giving his insight into the links established between Clare and Milwaukee.
Another speaker, the influential travel expert Stephanie Abrams, was this week added to the bill for Friday night.
“We hope to market the town and the area. For a town of its size, there are a lot of pubs here and a lot of small intimate pubs in the town and the publicans are trying to bring business back and this is the ideal opportunity. There are plenty of musicians in North Clare too and it is a great chance to showcase them. We want to give people a reason to come up the town in the evenings,” Caroline concluded.

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