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Group tours have long-term future in Clare

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*Tony Kirby leading a tour group in The Burren. Photograph: Burren Geopark

There is “a long-term future” for group tours visiting parts of Ireland including Co Clare, the CEO of the body responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas has said.

Niall Gibbons was the keynote speaker at Shannon Chamber’s Autumn Launch held at Dromoland Castle where he talked at length to attendees, many of whom are working in the hospitality sector.

Fourth generation Lahinch hotelier, Michael Vaughan was among them and he told the Tourism Ireland CEO that “the tour market has dipped”. “Have we reached the peak of group tourism and is the product we’re offering still appropriate,” he asked.

“We still offer something that is relevant, I still think there is a market for group tourism especially in North America. When the market collapsed in 2010 everyone embraced tour operators. It has a very long-term future,” Gibbons said in response.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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