MORE THAN 34,000 entries from across the United States of America and Canada were received for a digital tourism marketing campaign offering a five-day getaway break to Co Clare.

Hosted by the Cliffs of Moher Experience and supported by Tourism Ireland, Aer Lingus and Clare tourism operators, the ‘Epic Trip’ competition targeted the North American market and reached an audience of 3.4 million people via The Cliffs of Moher Experience social media channels.

On Tuesday morning, the winning couple, Peggy and Daniel Haukup from Wichita in Kansas, arrived in Dublin Airport. Their prize includes Aer Lingus direct scheduled return flights from the USA with AVIS car hire and a five-night stay in Co Clare with attractions and activities included. They will visit parts of the county such as Liscannor, Doolin, Lahinch, the Burren, Ballyvaughan, Lisdoonvarna, Newmarket-on-Fergus and Ennis.

Flights were booked after a winner was selected, a spokesperson for The Cliffs of Moher Experience confirmed with no connecting flights from Chicago to Shannon Airport.

Director of the Cliffs of Moher Experience, Geraldine Enright explained, “The success of this digital marketing campaign is the result of a collaborative effort involving Aer Lingus and Tourism Ireland and is evidence that an inter-agency digital marketing campaign can be very effective at capturing a wider audience”.

She said the campaign was funded by Tourism Ireland through the Industry Market Access Programme (IMAP) “which has been established to support the tourism industry on the island of Ireland to recover swiftly from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic”. Geraldine added, “The Programme has a particular focus on supporting sales focused activities in key overseas markets such as the North American market, which our campaign specifically targeted.”

Ms. Enright said that targeting the North American visitor market following two years of declining international visitors to Ireland is central to ongoing recovery of the Irish tourism sector. “Visitor numbers this summer are down across the Irish tourism sector compared to 2019 and therefore, a key focus this autumn and winter must be on tapping into the considerable North American visitor market to ensure that we recover some of the ground lost due to the pandemic. Our digital marketing campaign is evidence that Ireland as a tourism destination remains a significant draw for people in Canada and the United States.”

The winning couple’s prize includes visits to the world-famous Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Aillwee Cave, Falls Hotel and Spa, Doolin Inn, Hotel Woodstock, Lunch in Hylands in Ballyvaughan, Moher Cottage, Lahinch, Ennis, Burren Smokehouse and the Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna, a guided tour of the Burren with the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark Geologist Dr. Eamon Doyle, and a trip to the base of the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands on board Doolin Ferry Company.

Melanie Lennon, Sales and Marketing Manager, Cliffs of Moher Experience, said the packaged holiday “incorporates the best of what Clare has to offer in terms of attractions, activities and our food produce.”

She stated, “Our focus has been on promoting what the wider North Clare region has to offer beyond the Cliffs of Moher tapping into our key objectives in the Cliffs of Moher Strategy 2040, which include delivering economic benefits to the wider tourism economy. The support shown by the local sector throughout this campaign is very encouraging and underlines the importance of and benefits associated with the sector working together”.

The Cliffs of Moher Experience is Ireland’s most visited natural attraction, a Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way, a main Geosite of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, and a Special Protection Area (SPA) under Natura 2000 designation. The visitor attraction is a wholly owned tourism asset of Clare County Council.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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