Ireland has unveiled a new $1 million campaign to promote direct flights from the United States to Shannon Airport. As part of the campaign, Tourism Ireland and the Shannon Airport Group hosted a Sept 15 event for key travel trade and media contacts in Boston. Pctured are: Paul McDonough, Tourism Ireland; Dan Irvine, Shannon Airport Group; Gilliam Griffin, Adare Manor Hotel & Gold Resort; Edel Vaughan, Doolin Ferry Company; Maura Larson, Caherconnell Fort & Sheepdog Demonstration; Mary Considine, The Shannon Group; Alison Metcalfe, VP, Tourism Ireland; Siobhan McManamy, Tourism Ireland; Ruth Vaughan, The Savoy Hotel; Adrienne O’Flynn, Shannon Heritage; Jarlath O’Dwyer, Burren Ecotourism Network; and Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland. (Tourism Ireland photo.)
Shannon Airport Group and Tourism Ireland have recently launched a $1 million marketing campaign to draw American tourists to the Wild Atlantic Way, with daily, non-stop flights to Shannon Airport. At a recent luncheon at Porto Restaurant in Boston’s Prudential Center, media and travel-industry guests were given a broad insight into the wide array of attractions in the Shannon region, known as the Gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way.
Greeted by Tourism Ireland’s EVP Alison Metcalfe, guests were introduced to Mary Considine, CEO of the Shannon Airport Group, who pointed out the many reasons travelers should consider flying into Shannon Airport rather than Cork Airport, or the larger Dublin International Airport. She said among the most compelling reasons was the speed at which passengers could expect to get through the airport. She told the group one passenger had clocked his travel “from ticket counter, through security, to his gate at 11 minutes.”
Once outside the airport, of course, is where the fun begins. To prove it, presentations were made by several speakers representing various destinations in the Shannon region and the Wild Atlantic Way.
Gillian Griffin of Adare Manor presented a stunning slideshow of a lovingly restored castle hotel, boasting an award winning golf course designed by celebrated golf architect Tom Fazio. For a restful and upscale retreat, guests should certainly add this hotel to their itinerary. (adaremanor.com)
Adrienne O’Flynn of Shannon Heritage spoke of the fun, family-friendly attractions of Bunratty Castle, best known for the large folk park and interactive Medieval Banquet inside the castle, Craggaunowen, where visitors can learn about Ireland in the Bronze Age, and the Knappogue Castle Medieval Banquet. (shannonheritage.com)
For travelers who might spend a bit too much time on YouTube watching border collies intently and intimidatingly herding sheep (trust us, it’s fun to watch!), Maura Fay of Caherconnell Fort offered a better idea: Sheepdog demonstrations set against the backdrop of an 11th century stone fort. Located in Carron, Co Clare, the Fort boasts canines, sheep, archaeology and a cafe. (caherconnell.com)
The Doolin Ferry Co. was represented by Edel Vaughan, who spoke of the majesty and mystery of the ferry destinations: the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher. Boasting a new fleet of boats (with stabilizing technology- yes, we asked, because those waters can be choppy!) the tour boats leave on multiple trips per day, dropping visitors at all three of the Aran Islands, as well as a jaw-dropping vantage point of the Cliff of Moher from sea-level. (doolinferry.com)
For those looking to stay in Limerick in style, Ruth Vaughan of the Savoy Collections was proud to show off two new properties: the 5-star Savoy Hotel, and the 4-star George Hotel, both located in Limerick City Center. Brimming with elegance and personality, both hotels are a sure bet for visitors looking to explore the city that gave us King John’s Castle, author Frank McCourt, and rock band The Cranberries. (thesavoycollection.com)
Unesco Global Geopark spoke to those visitors who are yearning for an organic, airy and natural visit to the West of Ireland. Jarlath O’Dwyer, of Burren Ecotourism Network said the network strives to promote responsible ecotourism, and protect the land’s natural resources. Whether it’s exploring caves beneath the ground, to biking through the unique flora of the area, to glamping or camping under the stars and waking to yoga at sunrise, the main goal of the Geopark is to connect visitors to the ancient land they walk upon, to leave rejuvenated and at one with the earth. (burren.ie).
Airfares for the fall have dropped and now is a great time to start planning– enjoy everything the West of Ireland has on offer, starting with an easy entry through Shannon Airport.