The awarding of the European Destination of Excellence Eden Award to Loop Head in West Clare, must now be capitalised on by tourist agencies in the region.

The Loop Head Peninsula was awarded the title for its strides in providing the very best in aquatic tourism whilst also protecting the fabric of the region.

I wish to congratulate all those involved and said that the huge attractions of the area must be effectively communicated to a wider audience.

“Loop Head Tourism should be hugely congratulated for the work they have done in the past years in building a first rate tourist product which has now received national and international recognition. This shows what a strong tourist infrastructure we have in County Clare. The European Destination of Excellence Eden Award is a major achievement for the region.

What we need now though is to ensure that we get the message out there about what the Loop Head Peninsula has to offer. I believe that the attraction of this region, from water tourism to outdoor activities, could be better communicated both within Ireland and  internationally.

We had a scenario some months back where the Kilkee Tourist Office faced closure. That type of thinking does not suggest that the region is playing to its strengths. I believe in a focused marketing drive for the whole of the western seaboard and that this should be stepped up this summer. We know that because of the ash cloud issue, so called ‘staycations’ will be in demand this year. County Clare should be in a strong position to benefit from increased domestic travel. Let’s get the message out there – from Kilrush to Kilkee, Loop Head to Lahinch – the West is open for business.”