Following the success of the Gathering initiative in 2013, the emphasis in tourist circles now and for the next number of years will be on driving the 2,500km Wild Atlantic Way, which runs from Kinsale in Cork up the west coast to Malin Head in Donegal.
The west coast of Clare sits on the key south-west section of the Wild Atlantic Way and, in an initiative by Ennis-based Spa Transport and Shannon Ferries, this section of the route features on eight of the fleet of trailers operated by Spa Transport, under the theme, Bridging the Wild Atlantic Way.
The tourism industry is highly dependent on home visitors and this advertising initiative brings the message, incorporating a map of the south-west, to the main highways and urban areas in Ireland.
The Wild Atlantic Way is modelled on a number of high-profile driving routes across the world, including the Garden Route in South Africa and the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia.
The length of the Wild Atlantic Way makes it unlikely that most people will take it all in on one trip or holiday and it is set out as an accessible route that can be completed in stages.
Spa Transport managing director, Eugene Drennan said the idea came from Terence Mangan, a local businessman and Lions Club member.
“Terence came here and said he thought the back of the trucks would be a great way of showcasing it. Shannon Ferries then came up with the concept, along with design people in Limerick. A man called Niall Coyle in Monaghan completed the work,” Mr Drennan explained.
“We gave the space on the back of 12 lorries. Eoin Galvin, president of the Irish Road Haulage Association, recently brought one of our vehicles to Italy this week, down through France and Belgium. We go around the country all day every day.
“A man from Mayo asked me the other day where was Mayo on the trailers. I said if you look on the roof, we have Mayo. John Sheehan was looking to know where was Achill,” Mr Drennan laughed.