U.S. President Barack Obama’s whirlwind tour of Ireland kicks off on Monday… only days after England’s Queen Elizabeth departed from her first visit to the Emerald Isle.
With the leaders of the country’s two biggest tourism markets touring just ahead of the summer travel season, the Irish are working double-time to get the attention of would-be visitors.
For Americans, that means tapping their heritage. Discover Ireland has been using the tagline “Come home to Ireland” for over a year. This week, the campaign takes on new meaning when Obama visits Moneygall in County Offally, the village where his fifth-great-grandfather left Ireland for the United States.
A Different Kind of Tourist
It’s nice to see these big name visits shed a light on lesser noticed areas… Offaly and Tipperary. These inland counties are often seen as pass-thru routes to other destinations. The Queen’s visit highlighted the region’s ties to horseracing and the Obama visit will spotlight destinations of personal genealogical interest.
Shannon Region Development has even produced a downloadable map they’re calling “Obama Country.” It centers on Obama’s roots and gives an overview of the region.
Have a look at map:
The question that remains is whether or not these visits will inspire more English and American visitors… time will tell.