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The Clare Tourism Forum, the group responsible for tourism marketing and the promotion of County Clare, has welcomed today’s Ryanair announcement at Shannon Airport saying that it will help to sustain thousands of jobs in the local tourism and hospitality sector.

Forum Chairperson Donnagh Gregson said: “The provision of direct services to French and German destinations in particular is a significant moment not only for Shannon Airport but tourism in this region as it will enable operators here to capitalise on the recent growth we have seen in the number of continental tourists visiting the County. Furthermore, this announcement will help to sustain existing jobs and create new opportunities for development amongst tourism operators in the wider region.

Ms. Gregson confirmed that the Forum would now begin to refocus its marketing efforts to ensure that the new markets being opened up by Ryanair are targeted in the coming months. “Our members are particularly delighted with the addition of services to Paris, Nice, Berlin and Munich which are key markets for the local tourism sector. The commencement of these new routes in April 2014 will complement a comprehensive schedule of transatlantic services next year, which bodes well for tourism in County Clare and the West of Ireland. We are committed to supporting Shannon Airport by promoting all of these routes as well as playing our part in attracting additional routes and airline operators to the airport in the coming months and years,” she added.