EFFORTS to promote the attractions of East Clare to visitors from Germany are back up and running, with a group of journalists recently enjoying a river cruise in the region.
The group cruised the Shannon, taking in Tuamgraney, Mountshannon, Scariff and Killaloe, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and German cruising tour operator, Le Boat.
Those visiting included representatives of popular travel magazines, a regional newspaper and a radio station – are here to find out more about cruising holidays on the Shannon and to experience at first-hand the spectacular scenery and the wealth of things to see and do.
During their time in East Clare, the group visited Wilde Irish Chocolates, McKernan Woollen Mills and Nuala’s Bar and Restaurant in Tuamgraney; Under the Oak in Mountshannon; McNamara’s Bar and Restaurant in Scarriff; and the Farmer’s Market in Killaloe.
“Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of journalists to visit County Clare and Ireland,” said Nadine Lehmann, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Germany. “Fact-finding visits like this are a really effective way for us to get positive exposure for cruising on the Shannon and Ireland – through their articles and broadcasts, the journalists will encourage their readers and listeners to come and experience this part of Ireland for themselves.”
Germany is the third-largest source of visitors to the island of Ireland and one of the largest outbound travel markets in the world.
The County Clare Tourism Strategy 2030 highlights the importance of welcoming German visitors, particularly those seeking to explore heritage sites and landscapes, and to enjoy authentic hospitality. The country is already very popular with German visitors and East Clare, as part of the Hidden Heartlands brand, offers many of the active holiday attractions that they favour.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Germany is Ireland’s third-largest source of visitors, annually. Before the pandemic, almost 800,000 visitors from Germany visited Ireland in 2019 alone, the highest annual figure to-date. In 2019, 68% of all visitors from Germany were holidaymakers and accounted for 9% of all holidaymakers to the island of Ireland. The number of German holidaymakers coming to this country has increased by more than 154,000 over the last five years. For German’s Ireland’s main attractions include its rich cultural heritage, scenery, friendly people and relaxed way of life.
The economic impact of tourism from Germany is also significant. Figures from Tourism Ireland show that German visitors spent €495 million on the island of Ireland in 2019, with an average spend per person of €613.
While hotels are popular with German visitors to this country, they only accounts for 17% of nights . Guesthouses and B&B are preferred by 1-in-5 German tourists and account for 12% of German nights. Figures also show that German visitors tend to stay longer and that their stay averages just almost nine nights.
The attractiveness of Fáilte Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands brand, which covers East Clare, is also a big factor for German holidaymakers, who tend to be self-directed visitors. Two-in-five German holiday makers will use a car and travel widely on the island. Research shows that they are active tourists, exploring historical sites and engaging in multiple events and activities. Hiking and cross-country walking continues to be the most popular activity for Germans visiting these shores.
More than half of Germans holidaying in Ireland are under 35, with around one-third intending to visit this country more than once. Around half of visitors were inspired by word-of-mouth of friends and family, but most used online resources to plan and book their visits.
The great news for East Clare is that more than one-third of German holidaymakers intend to travel to the Ireland over the next three years. Campaigns from organisations like Tourism Ireland motivate visitors by keeping the island top of mind with promotions showing the island as a unique destination, with a lot of things to see and do, that it is easy to reach and where tourists can experience culture in breathtaking landscape.
Tourism Ireland (ireland.com) is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald.
Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti.
She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at The University of Galway.
If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at email@example.com or telephone 065 6864146.