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‘We need to be ready’ – Clare councillors seek strategy to entice international tourists if COVID vaccine proves successful

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*Photograph: John Mangan

Clare’s tourism taskforce is currently finalising an action plan to enhance the county’s ability to entice visitors if the COVID-19 vaccine has the desired result.

Director of Rural Development, Leonard Cleary confirmed that an action plan is being compiled following the completion of the Clare Tourism Strategy 2030. He detailed that the Clare Tourism Taskforce were carrying out the work on behalf of the Tourism Department.

Cleary’s comments followed a motion by Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) who urged Clare County Council to consider strategies “to assist Clare tourist attractions and Shannon Airport to benefit from an early surge of tourists if the COVID vaccine proves effective”.

Speaking at the January meeting of the County Council, Cllr McMahon recalled, “We had a huge influx of Irish people staying in Ireland for the first time ever last year”. He was adamant lessons had to be taken on board from the staycation success and lamented the “awful hammering” endured by the tourism industry.

He repeated his call for further efforts to be made to get aviation journalist Eoghan Corry to brief councillors on the way forward for Shannon Airport.

“Tourism is an industry that nobody can take away from us. It creates a massive amount of job and money circulated in our county,” Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) stated in seconding McMahon’s motion. “We need to be prepared. It is important we see extra tourism coming into the Mid-West, we have great spots in the county,” Cllr Pat Daly (FF) added.

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, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. 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 - paraic@clareecho.ie

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