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Tourism market has done digital

Ireland South MEP, Deirdre Clune has cautioned those in the tourist trade not to ignore the fact that the tourism market has gone digital. “Fáilte Ireland research shows that over 73% of holidaymakers to Ireland use the internet for planning a holiday here. What is more interesting is how they are using the internet. According to travel website Tnooz.com, in the first half of 2014, nearly 16% of bookings and 19% of room nights were booked on tablets and smartphones. 41% of web visitors and nearly 38% of page views were generated from non-desktop devices (mobile and tablet). Tourism providers need to optimize their presence in all three channels to provide the best user experience on each device,” said Ms Clune following a meeting of the European Parliament’s Tourism Taskforce. “It is not just about having a website anymore. Small B&Bs, restaurants and tourism providers need a complete online strategy that includes social media, promotions, online bookings and linkages to …

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New King of Tulira Castle

The breathtaking Tulira Castle in Ardrahan, County Galway has been sold, it has been confirmed. The castle, which sits on more than 250 acres, is understood to have been bought by an Irish businessman for in the region of €5.8 million. Celia Lamb, head of country homes, farms and studs with Ganly Walters, described the property as “a national landmark and one of the finest examples of an Irish castle” but would not comment on the identity of the buyer or the final sale price. The property had been on the market since summer 2013 and had generated significant interest, especially among international buyers. “The asking price was €6.5 million. We had varied interest from a few groups of Chinese; we had some Europeans; we had some Americans who nearly went for it and we had Irish interest, interest from the UK and we had one prospective buyer come from Australia to view the property. He had been in Australia …

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Martin’s Clonea to Cooraclare fundraising cycle

COORACLARE man, Martin Donnelly, who lives in Meath, has revealed details of a fundraising cycle on June 20 and 21. All proceeds from the two-day cycle, which will start in Clonea and conclude in Cooraclare, will be split between the West Clare Mini Marathon Cancer Fund and St Francis Hospice in Dublin 15. “This cycle is something that has been in my mind for a while,” Martin Donnelly told The Clare Champion. “You’re not going to cycle all that way without having a purpose to it. So I came up with the idea of calling it a Cycle In Remembrance. So people will do this in memory of somebody close to them who has passed away and, at the same time, raise much-needed funds for West Clare Cancer Care and St Francis Hospice in Blanchardstown, which is very close to Clonea. There are 60,000 to 80,000 people living in Dublin 15 and they have opened a six-bed hospice. They all …

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Motivation is the key to training your dog

THE key to any training is knowing how to motivate your dog. Knowing your dogs’ likes and dislikes will impact your training enormously. When we talk about rewards in training, it’s not all about food. We humans all have different things we love to do as a reward, a nice meal, shopping, chocolate and shoes. Dogs are not so different; they all have their own reward preferences. Does your dog prefer cheese or chicken or would he much prefer a good game with a toy or a chase game with a ball or frisbee? Generally, most dogs adore food and would most likely prefer a smelly bit of sausage to anything else. However, the terriers may prefer a good tug game with a ragger toy, while collies and sheepdogs have a preference for chase games like fetch. One dog may really enjoy being petted, while others may not, so our response when giving a reward when we are training our …

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Home improvements on the rise

Onlinetradesmen.ie, a well- recognised source of qualified trade professionals, last year processed more than 59,000 jobs across 130 home improvement categories, with a cumulative value of €230 million to the Irish construction sector. The results demonstrate a continued improvement in the Irish home improvement sector since 2012, according to Ted Laverty. CEO of Onlinetradesmen.ie. The company experienced a 28% increase in jobs submitted by property owners seeking qualified tradesmen. The most significant demand was for kitchen re-fit projects, with handyman jobs and interior painting also high on the agenda for property owners. “We continue to see significant growth in the sector as a whole after a number of difficult years. There has been an increase in demand across nearly all project types in 2014, from home extensions to smaller projects and repair jobs. An improved economy which has impacted on consumer confidence, and the government’s Home Renovation Incentive scheme have all contributed to the growth,” he said. Some of the key …

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Clare Tourism broadens its horizons

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

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Lots to see and do in Clare in 2015

THE reigning International Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh, officially launched the Clare Festivals and Events Guide 2015 in Glór at the weekend. More than 150 events are featured in the new guide, which is produced by the Clare Tourism Forum, with the support of Shannon Airport. The new guide is being made available at visitor attractions, accommodation providers, tourist offices, libraries and council area offices throughout Clare. Thousands of copies of the guide are also being distributed to Limerick City and Galway tourist offices, as well as to various locations throughout the world. Some of the event and festival highlights during the coming weeks include the third annual Concertina Cruinniú in Miltown Malbay (February 13-15), Bunratty Chess Festival (February 18-22), Corofin Traditional (March 2-8), the 54th West Clare Drama Festival in Doonbeg (March 7-16), Killaloe/Ballina St Patrick’s Festival (March 16-17) and the Doolin Writers Weekend (March 27-29). Other highlights for the remainder of 2015 include the Festival of Finn in …

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Varadkar’s coming out ‘will help young people’

KILRUSH man, Brian Sheehan, director of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) has told The Clare Champion that Health Minister Leo Varadkar’s decision to come out as gay indicates how open Ireland has become and will encourage young gay people to pursue whatever career they see fit. “If you’re a young man or woman in school for example, you now know that being lesbian or gay isn’t a barrier to the highest political office. That is a really important point, that no job should be denied you because of who you are,” he said. Mr Sheehan feels that growing up in a small town, like Kilrush, these days is easier for a young gay person. “When I grew up in Kilrush, I didn’t know any gay people. The only gay person I knew in Ireland was David Norris and I didn’t seem to be represented in him. If I was the young me now in Kilrush, there is great …

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