Over 1,100 students from 150 schools around France took part in a recent tourism project about the Cliffs of Moher and Co Clare.
The promotion kicked off last October, when Tourism Ireland invited schools around France to develop an innovative project focusing on the Cliffs of Moher, to be in a chance to win a class trip to the region in 2011. The objective was to raise awareness of Co Clare and the Shannon Region as an ideal destination for French school trips and to encourage the teachers to include this part of Ireland in their future itineraries. It aimed to encourage students to learn about Ireland and ‘les Falaises de Moher’ (the Cliffs of Moher) while working on a fun, yet educational, project.
Classes were challenged to think about not just highlighting the Cliffs of Moher to their fellow-students, but to also spread the message about Co Clare and Ireland to their wider communities. According to Tourism Ireland, the standard of projects submitted was extremely high, with lots of the schools making huge efforts. Numerous presentations, written reports, sketches and arts and crafts displays were received. Activity also included:
• 3,000 flyers and posters about the Cliffs of Moher distributed;
• 22 DVDs and 11 games developed;
• 21 new websites and 9 blogs created;
• 144 town councils and mayors around France targeted by their local schools to vote for their project;
• 11 different Facebook pages created, with some 2,000 fans;
• 15 articles appeared in regional newspapers around France, through various schools targeting their local journalists;
• some schools even ‘turned Irish’ for the day, serving an Irish menu in their school canteen;
• and one class in the town of Coutras (near Bordeaux) even created an attention-grabbing ‘flashmob’ of 200 students who ‘bopped’ their way around town to the beat of traditional Irish music.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Southern Europe, said: “We were delighted with the huge response and interest in our Cliffs of Moher project in schools right around France and extremely impressed by the high standard and creativity of the projects we received. Tourism Ireland has been working hard to promote the Shannon Region and the island of Ireland in France as an ideal destination for school group trips. We know that this part of Ireland has much that appeals to the teachers and their students, including dramatic scenery and coastline, rich culture and heritage and, above all, friendly and welcoming people.”
Because of the extremely high standard of projects submitted, Tourism Ireland had a tough choice in deciding the winning school. Finally, the judging panel awarded the prize to the Lycée Eugène Woillez in Montreuil-sur-Mer (Northern France). Click here to see the video they created on YouTube. Twenty-seven students from the school will travel with their teachers to Co Clare later this year, visiting the Cliffs of Moher and other top visitor attractions in the region.
Tourism Ireland undertook a number of promotions about Co Clare over the winter months, to build awareness of the competition. A special schools brochure – Voyages Scolaires – highlighting Co Clare and Ireland was mailed to 8,000 English teachers around France. A dedicated page was created on Tourism Ireland’s website discoverireland.com/fr with plenty of helpful information for the students about the Cliffs of Moher and the Shannon Region. Other initiatives included an eNewsletter to teachers around France, and Tourism Ireland’s Facebook page was also used to spread with word.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027
Note to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• Approximately 6.6 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately €3 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 20 different languages covering every continent. In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.