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'Don't worry, we're still here' - good news videos aim to keep tourist eyes on Ireland

It may feel like a long way from Clare to here, especially in lockdown, but that hasn't stopped a wave of inspirational videos for when we can travel again

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Screengrab: Dream of Clare (Clare County Council & Visit Clare)

Screengrab: Dream of Clare (Clare County Council & Visit Clare)

Cliffs of Moher. Screengrab: Clare County Council / Visit Clare

Cliffs of Moher. Screengrab: Clare County Council / Visit Clare

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Screengrab: Dream of Clare (Clare County Council & Visit Clare)

"Don't worry, we're still here."

That's the message of a stirring new tourism video, which sees drones sweep from the Cliffs of Moher to the Burren's rocky moonscape, in an effort to "share Clare" with the world.

"Because people cannot travel to Clare at this time, we want to bring Clare to them," says Deirdre O'Shea of Clare County Council's Tourism Department, which developed the video with Visit Clare.

Covid-19 and its related closures and travel restrictions have "devastated" tourism throughout the Banner County, O'Shea says. But the video, 'Dream of Clare', sends a clear signal of hope.

It comes as destinations all over the world tread a sensitive marketing line - conscious that millions of jobs depend on tourism, but that actively promoting travel remains all but impossible.

Similarly emotive videos have been shared by Pure Cork and Mayo.ie in recent weeks, and Tourism Ireland has tentatively been running online campaigns - in inspirational rather than promotional mode.

The latest encourages Ireland's tourism industry to share inspiring content using the hashtag #FillYourHeartWithIreland, and has featured videos including a behind-the-scenes short film shot during the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney's 'Normal People', as well as an Other Voices performance by Lisa Hannigan in an empty National Gallery.

"Our aim is to keep the beauty of the island of Ireland to the fore and to showcase our authentic home-grown talent," explains Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland CEO.

"While we may not be able to travel just now, we hope to inspire people for their future visit.”

As part of its 'Let's Share Clare' initiative, the Council will provide free-to-share resources like videos, Zoom backgrounds and templates for social media posts to tourism businesses, O'Shea says.

"Once travel resumes, our message will then change to newly themed 'Visit Clare' advertisements," she adds.

Elsewhere in Co Clare, Kilkee Chamber of Commerce shared a video of a cliff walk sorely missed by visitors, while the Burren Ecotourism Network has developed a special gift voucher it hopes will enable people to plan trips to the area once restrictions are lifted.

Jarlath O'Dwyer, CEO of the Network, said:

"We knew by the feedback on social media that many people were missing being able to spend time out in the great outdoors of the Burren, as well as missing the great hospitality provided by the local businesses and we developed the voucher to respond to this need.”

And in nearby Ballyhoura Country, Covid-19 has not gotten in the way of a new VisitBallyhoura.com website, which launched last week.

"It is a very ‘good news’ story for tourism, provides fantastic inspiration and lots of resources for anyone who is planning a trip to the region for when we can travel again," said Fáilte Ireland's Shauna Cunningham.

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