A Carrick-on-Suir tourism company was working hard at America’s biggest Irish festival to attract US visitors to this country next year.
Terry Flynn Tours based at William Street, Carrick-on-Suir was one of several tourism organisations promoting Ireland as a place to visit at the Milwaukee Irish Fest in Wisconsin.
Terry Flynn told The Nationalist he had been visiting the thre-day Milwaukee Irish Fest for 18 years and found it to be one of a very good place to meet Americans, who may be interested in holidaying in Ireland.
The festival celebrating Irish culture and heritage in the US, attracts an estimated 180,000 each year, many of them of Irish descent.
“We offer our services in Ireland for whatever type of touring they want whether it’s self driven touring, chauffeur driven or a coach tour. We offer them all the different options.”
Mr Flynn said the work they do at the Milwaukee Irish Fest begins to start paying off in October and November when people who got information from their stand at the festival make contact checking about prices and tour options.
He finds that the more information they are able to give potential tourists, the more interested they are in booking with you.
His firm brought three groups of American tourists to Carrick-on-Suir in July and August, and some of those tours originated with his visit to the Milwaukee Irish Fest last year.
“There was 12 in the smallest group and I also has a group of 16 and 26. They stayed overnight in the Carraig Hotel and we organised a concert for them in the Nano Nagle Centre and brought in locals to meet them. That is what they love. They really enjoy connecting with local people.”
Tourism Ireland was also represented at the Milwaukee Irish Fest to promote to Irish-Americans, the “The Gathering Ireland” programme of festivals and events taking place throughout the country targetted at people from around the world, who have Irish ancestry or have a link to the country through friendship, business or education.
Terry Flynn believes The Gathering festivals will primarily attract low cost back packer tourists to the country rather than the more traditional tour coach visitors.