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Keith Wood and Mark O'Connell. Photograph by Sean Curtin.

Clare presence at global sports event

Clare’s role in sport tourism development will be central to a global discussion at World Travel Market (WTM) to be held in London next week.

Killaloe based W2 Consulting will deliver the sports tourism elements in association with Eurosport at London’s EXCEL Centre on Wednesday and Thursday next.

The event attracts 50,000 international delegates annually with 3,000 overseas media in attendance. The sport tourism discussions will include speakers from England 2015 Rugby World Cup, Tour de France and the Commonwealth Games.

The first sport tourism at WTM session will focus on England’s hosting of the Rugby World Cup and be facilitated by W2 Consulting director, Keith Wood from Killaloe. The panel will include Brett Gosper, CEO of the International Rugby Board (IRB), Maggie Alphonsi who was part of the successful English ladies rugby team and global ambassador for 2015 and Paul Smith, England 2015. Future trends in sport tourism will be the main topic for the seminar on Wednesday and will include speakers from the Tour de France, Commonwealth Games, Sport Event Denmark and SportCAL.

Director with W2 Consulting, Mark O’Connell explained that the involvement in WTM originated from the hosting of the inaugural European Sport Tourism Summit in Thomond Park last May. He said, “The success of the Shannon Airport supported event in Limerick highlighted the growing interest in the sector internationally. We intend using the event in London as a platform to position the Mid-West as the home to sport tourism and support the work of other members of the tourism industry from Clare attending the event.”

O’Connell added that there was a significant economic impact from the Limerick event last May. He outlined, “As a result of the Summit in Limerick, a number of bids to host events in Ireland were launched by national governing bodies while some major mass participation events for 2015 are also well advanced in their planning including some Clare-based activity.”

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