Leading Canadian journalist Seán Mallen visited Co Clare recently, as a guest of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland.
Representing the popular Toronto Star newspaper, which has the highest circulation of any newspaper in Canada, with over 430,000 readers – or potential Canadian holidaymakers – he was here to check out the world-class surfing, as well as some of the many things to see and do here for Canadian visitors, for a feature story he is researching about holidays in Co Clare. The resulting article will be published later this year and will provide a ‘go-to’ guide for Canadians who wish to visit this part of Ireland.
As well as a trip to the Cliffs of Moher, Seán’s itinerary also included a visit to Doolin, where he enjoyed dinner in Cullinan’s Seafood Restaurant. He interviewed John McCarthy of Lahinch Surf School and later took to the waves for a surfing lesson with local surfer Ollie O’Flaherty. He stayed in Ballinalacken Castle in Doolin.
Jayne Shackleford, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Canada, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to welcome this journalist to Co Clare. He was hugely impressed by the spectacular scenery, the friendliness of the people he met and the fantastic surfing and outdoor tourism product on offer here. Visits like this are a really effective way for us to get positive exposure for Ireland through the media in Canada; the article this journalist will write about holidays and surfing in Clare will reach over 400,000 Canadians.”
The Canadian market performed well for tourism to the island of Ireland in 2011, delivering about 113,000 visitors, an increase of +15% on 2010. Tourism Ireland has an extensive promotional campaign under way in Canada this year. The organisation is highlighting compelling reasons to visit the island of Ireland, with messages of friendliness, great value and inspiring scenery.