In the Beginning…

Clare Tourism Forum was established in 2005 to provide a collaborative approach to tourism promotion in Clare and to facilitate the efficient and effective development of the tourism industry in the county. The Forum was established as a public / private partnership representative of all sectors of the Clare tourism industry.

Studies over the years and discussions among tourism providers and agencies, highlighted the need to market County Clare as a single entity.  Clare County Council convened a public meeting of stakeholders in September 2005. Over 150 people attended and the consensus reached was that there was a need to put a collaborative structure in place to co-ordinate the promotional efforts of the county; to maximise the economic benefits, and to represent the best interests of the industry. Consultations and workshops with the trade and agencies led to a working group being formed in February 2006.

The Mission Statement of Clare Tourism Forum was: “To create and implement an integrated tourism marketing strategy that will develop a positive and sustainable brand for County Clare and deliver a significant increase in visitor numbers”

The objectives and aims of Clare Tourism Forum were to:

  • Represent the best interests of Clare Tourism
  • Develop a collaborative and coordinated approach to tourism marketing and promotion
  • Develop a Clare Brand – Product/identify
  • Put in place a funding mechanism to support Clare Tourism Forum
  • Implement a supporting marketing strategy

Clare Tourism Forum promoted all regions in Clare and all sectors of tourism. It was fundamental to the Forum to represent Clare as an entity rather than a segmented or fragmented County.  With this in mind a Working Group was strategically nominated to represent all tourism providers in Clare.

In the formative years the Working Group met on a bi-monthly basis to co-ordinate the activities of the Forum and was chaired by the Chairperson of the Council’s Planning & Economic Development Strategic Policy Committee. Meetings took place in the offices of Clare County Council where support services were provided.

Members of the Working Group took responsibility to drive particular initiatives through sub-group structures focusing on website development, marketing campaigns, branding, and funding / sponsorship. Trade representation included Hotels, B&B operators, Heritage & Cultural facilities, golf clubs, general activity groups and festival coordinators.

In 2007 the Forum recruited a specialist Marketing Executive to ensure an effective link existed between the Forum Working Group and the wider Forum Members and to implement the agreed annual work plan.

In recent times….

In June 2014 a workshop was held to examine the purpose of the Clare Tourism Forum- where it has come from, what it is doing and where it wants to go.  The workshop was attended by Clare Tourism Forum Working Group Members, representatives of Loop Head Tourism and the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark.

An Outcomes Report was subsequently compiled which gave two recommendations:

  1. Adapting to the changing nature of tourism marketing & communications
    1. Forum move towards greater utilisation of a digital platform
    2. Develop detailed digital marketing strategy & action plan
    3. Engage a professional marketing specialist to draft digital strategy
  2. Being structured to meet the needs of the future market and members
    1. Broaden approach to engage with wider tourism sector
    2. Host two networking events annually
    3. Remove membership fees
    4. Develop co-operative marketing initiatives
    5. Engage with significant stakeholders
    6. Marketing Executive build key relationships
    7. Funding should continue to be based on public/private partnerships
    8. Develop new fundraising events to generate funds

These recommendations were adopted by the Clare Tourism Forum in November 2014.

The mission statement and purpose of the Clare Tourism Forum remained unchanged.

“To create and implement an integrated tourism marketing strategy that will develop a positive and sustainable brand for County Clare and deliver a significant increase in visitor numbers”. 

What did change was the structure to support the mission statement and to reflect the changing environment of the tourism sector.  The Working Group suggested the name ‘Clare Tourism Forum’ be changed to ‘Clare Tourism’ to reflect the change in environment and structure.

The new Steering Group would not exceed 7 members.  These 7 members consist of:

  • An elected representative from each geographical sector in Clare
    • North Clare
    • South Clare
    • East Clare
    • West Clare
    • Ennis
  • Representative from Clare County Council
  • Marketing Executive of Clare Tourism

The new role of the amended steering group included activities such as

  • Be a channel of communication from and to the tourism sector within each sector
  • Support the mission statement & its implementation
  • Input into the creation of an integrated tourism marketing strategy
  • Support the implementation of an integrated tourism marketing strategy
  • Support the Marketing Executive
  • Attend monthly Clare Tourism meetings

Today the steering group area representatives are:

EnnisPaul Maddenpmadden@templegatehotel.com
West ClareCathal Blunniedoonbegadventures@gmail.com
South ClareMaurice Walshmauricewalsh@durtynellys.ie
East ClareEoin O’ Haganinfo@clarevirtually.ie
North ClareMartin Waldroninfo@burrenescape.com
Clare County CouncilGer Dollardgdollard@clarecoco.ie
Clare TourismMaureen Clearymcleary@clarecoco.ie

Paul Madden was elected Chairperson of Clare Tourism.

The steering group is in place for a term of two years.  After each term a new election will take place.

Clare Tourism is a unique partnership representative of all sectors of the tourism industry in Clare.  Representation and participation on Clare Tourism clearly demonstrates the level of commitment from the trade to this process. Clare Tourism is an example of proactive, positive action initiated by Clare County Council.  It is a project underpinned by joined up thinking and is focused on delivering economic benefits for the county.

The mission statement and purpose of the Clare Tourism Forum

“To create and implement an integrated tourism marketing strategy that will develop a positive and sustainable brand for County Clare and deliver a significant increase in visitor numbers”.

Close menu
or
Don't have an account? Sign up today.

Have an account? Log in.