From Cork to Connemara and Kilkenny to Mayo, creative videos are helping visitors dream and look forward to when we can travel again
We may not be able to travel now. But destinations all over Ireland are sharing inspirational videos keeping the dream alive for future trips.
Tourism Ireland led last week with a new online film, its first since the coronavirus crisis, showcasing unspoilt landscapes and inviting prospective visitors "to dream of future adventures".
"I will return..." its narrator begins with a specially written poem, before reminding viewers that “the wandering lanes, and rugged cliffs, her fields laced with streams, will still be there after I awake...”
The film "allows us to keep the beauty of the island of Ireland to the fore," says Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons, and is being promoted to almost 4.6 million Facebook fans, among other social channels.
"It feels so different right now, doesn't it?"
So begins another video, published this week by Pure Cork, reflecting the sense of fear and "forced isolation" felt by many in lockdown.
"But you know, they're still here - the things that give us hope, solace, sustenance and joy," it continues.
"When Cork wakes from this deep slumber, and comes alive with our chat and our laughter and our shouts, I tell you it'll be pure brilliant."
This weekend also brings also Mayo Day (May 2), the yearly celebration of people and places of the county, with online events including an interview with Ballina-born former President Mary Robinson, and 'Global Voices' hosted by Liam Horan and Louise Duffy (1-3pm on mayo.ie) in a show of solidarity "that will bring our county together as we remain apart".
The celebrations include a new short film, ‘Oceans Apart’, from director Lorcan Hynes -a stirring look at themes of Irish emigration and connection at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We've been here before, faced uncertain terrain, cut adrift in a storm," it says, before incorporating Mayo voices, Zoom calls and Facetime chats from as far afield as Dubai, Paris and New York.
"When the storm settles, and the storm will settle, we'll see you again."
The videos come as destinations all over the world tread a cautious marketing line - conscious that millions of jobs depend on tourism, but that travel cannot yet actively be promoted.
But not all are polished productions featuring sweeping landscapes and emotive scripts. Social media snippets, homemade films and impromptu uploads are keeping the dream of travel alive, too.
"We've been trying to share a clip everyday - a #virtualvoyage to #AranConnemara - as much for locals as for anyone else as we are all confined to within 2km," says the Twitter account for Conamara & Árainn.
In Kilkee, the gateway to Co Clare's Loop Head Peninsula, the local Chamber of Commerce teamed up with Intrinsic Bay Media to showcase the coastal trail from a walker's perspective.
"We have had so many messages from everyone telling us how much they are missing the Cliff Walk, so we put on our thinking caps and asked how could we recreate the experience," its Kilkee by the Sea Facebook page says.
"We know it’s def [sic] not as good as doing the real thing... but we hope ye enjoy it."
Like hundreds of Irish hotels, Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny has been closed during the pandemic. But its staff have filmed another quirky video (below) from their homes, with a simple message for customers.
"Even apart, we're in this together".
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Like what you're reading? Subscribe now to our free travel newsletter. 'Travel Insider' is written by our award-winning Travel Editor, Pól Ó Conghaile.