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Tag Archives: tourism

Clare car rental costs six times as high as in Madrid

CAR hire prices at Shannon Airport are six times more expensive than tourists arriving at Madrid will face, and more than twice as pricey as in London. On Wednesday afternoon, going through the Shannon website, the cheapest car rental for the sample period June 10-17 was €1106.87. For an SUV for the same period the cost was €1,991.97. In contrast, someone travelling to Madrid and hiring a vehicle for the same period would face equivalent prices of €158.02 for a small car or €258 for an SUV. At Heathrow the prices quoted were €512 and €767.82. Obviously the huge disparity in prices puts Ireland at a serious competitive disadvantage, and Lahinch hotelier Michael Vaughan said that it is damaging the country’s reputation as a place to visit. “People are feeling really badly about it and we’re getting a very bad image.” He said he recently spoke to one person from North America who was struggling to arrange transport for a …

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WATCH: US visitors enjoy singsong at iconic Spanchilhill

A LARGE group of Americans visited the Cross of Spancilhll this week, part of a folk group from Michigan that travels to places they know of from songs. Local man Michael Brohan said the visit shows the extent of the reach of the song. “People know the song from the likes of Christy Moore and the Pogues and the great Robbie McMahon probably made it famous. It was a poem in the beginning, people think of it as a song but it was a poem at the start by an emigrant who went to America. “Robbie McMahon brought it to life in song and since then it’s been taken up by a lot of famous Irish singers, Christy Moore, the Pogues, the Dubliners, everyone sings it, it’s probably the most recognised ballad from Ireland. “Anywhere I’ve been around the world when people have a sing song Spancilhill is one of the first songs that come to mind.” Michael said that …

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McMahon: sign us up for initiative to boost tourism and hospitality

A CALL has been made for branded signage at access points to the county, to highlight Clare’s unique musical and cultural heritage. At the December meeting of Clare County Council, Councillor Pat McMahon made the appeal, saying such an initiative could help to rejuvenate tourism and hospitality in the wake of the pandemic. “We all know about the decimation of our hospitality over the last couple of years and that we need to get the rejuvenation going,” he told the meeting. He then explained that his motion was inspired by his own travels and seeing how different regions are promoted around the world. “In Florida, each county you go through, there’s a symbol of that county,” he said. “It leaves a seed in the mind. You see the same in Cornwall and in Oranmore in Galway. It leaves a seed as to what that area produces. “What I would love to see is that, no matter from what direction you …

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Gardaí appeal over Clare tourist route congestion

GARDAÍ are appealing to motorists accessing the county’s beauty spots to show consideration for residents and other road users, with the mercury soaring to 30 degrees this week. Staycationers, in unprecedented numbers, have brought a welcome boost to Clare’s tourism economy and created a festival atmosphere in conditions that have been more or less idyllic all week. The only down side the authorities have reported is significant traffic congestion at locations in the North and West of the county. Spanish Point, Seafield and Doolin were highlighted as particular areas of concern with heavy traffic and parking issues causing chaos. “The Garda message is that the roads, and the facilities, are there for everyone,” said Superintendent John Galvin of the Killrush Garda District. “We’re appealing to people to obey the traffic regulations because everyone wants to enjoy the summer safely.” Hot today and dry with hazy sunshine. ☀️Highs of 26 to 30 degrees🌡️, with slightly lower temperatures along southern and eastern …

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Community work is driving tourism to Clare estuary village

TOURISM is on the crest of a wave in Ballynacally village following the opening of the Estuary Way Café and two self-catering apartments thanks to the hard work of the local development association. The “Range” as it was known locally is a terrace of four cottages in the heart of Ballynacally village and it has undergone a long journey that last week saw the self-catering cottages welcome their first paying guests. The cottages were originally built by local landlords, the Ball family, for their workers. In their heyday the cottages were occupied by shoemakers, saddlers and butchers and local characters. In more recent times the cottages were occupied by St Francis Credit Union and the HSE, plus local enterprises such as a Montessori school and physical therapy centre. The recession in the late nineties saw the end of these tenancies and the cottages fell into disrepair. The Ballynacally Development Association (BDA) started a four-year journey that culminated in the opening …

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Communities united by Ilen voyage as part of Shannon Estuary Way destination development programme launch

COMMUNITIES on either side of the Shannon Estuary were united recently as part of a unique event, as the renowned Ilen ship followed the path of the old cargo ships down the Shannon Estuary, transporting ‘Gift Cargo Boxes’ between communities on each side of the Estuary. As part of the event, these local Shannon Estuary communities were invited to put together a Cargo Box from their area, to gift to other communities along the Shannon Estuary. The invite to gift a cargo box was greeted with huge enthusiasm with communities gathering gifts that best represented the produce or heritage from their individual areas, as well as the trade traditions between the Estuary communities. Gift boxes included loose tea and sugar from Kildysart and grain, seaweed and lace from Kilrush town and a Gandelaw anchor from Clarecastle along with a variety of gifts from Labasheeda and horseshoes from Ballynanally. Limerick City was also represented with hampers from Treaty City Beers, The …

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Benefits of campervan tourism questioned

LOW-BUDGET tourism was debated by the council’s Rural Committee this week when members heard that some visitors are going so far as to dispose of the contents of campervan sewage tanks in public toilets. Councillor Cillian Murphy said one particular blog had advice on travelling the Wild Atlantic Way without spending a penny. “This includes a guide on how to dump the contents of a sewage box,” he said. “It talks about walking into a shopping centre with a bag in order to do so. Explain to me the economic value of that.” The Fianna Fáil member made his remarks when asked by Councillor Pat Burke about the experience in West Clare last summer. It followed a presentation to the Rural Committee of The County Clare Tourism Strategy 2030. Councillor Burke welcomed positive tourism developments for East Clare, but raised concerns about the restriction of services due to the pandemic. “We had a number of campers arrive at Dromaan Harbour …

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Concern over Cliffs of Moher consultation

CONCERNS are emerging in the North Clare area and among tourism businesses about a perceived low level of consultation regarding the Cliffs of Moher Strategy 2040. There are concerns among local business people and elected representatives that the early direction of the future plan is seeking to prioritise national tourism, without taking much account of local tourism operators or the local community. It is understood that there have been rather sharp discussions between members of the executive of Clare County Council and elected representatives on the matter. While it goes without saying that the Cliffs of Moher is a huge factor in Clare tourism, there has been a feeling that the county has not benefited from it to anything like the extent it should in recent years, with many of the visitors coming on bus tours and only spending a very short time in this county. Some concerned parties this week also told the Clare Champion that the early direction …

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