Rural Ireland mustn't be left behind in race for urban excellence
'The Dingle area is fierce hot at the moment - and I'm not talking about the weather," said the man at the bar of the local Skellig Hotel. It was the end of a day which saw a long stream of early summer sunshine bathe the nearby mountains, as well as the ever-present Atlantic as it lapped the surrounding shoreline. The warmth of the evening lingered, providing that languid feel-good factor that can so intoxicate the Irish when they get an unexpected bout of good weather.
The man at the bar, who runs a local taxi firm, was luxuriating after a particularly good day for business. All the signs are that a bumper tourist year is on the cards. And so he mused that Dingle and its surrounds are especially 'hot' as of now, when it comes to luring even more visitors to embrace its charms.
A special road is already under construction in nearby Ceann Sibéal for the filming of the next 'Star Wars' movie. Those involved in tourism on the Dingle Peninsula, once described by National Geographic as "the most beautiful place on earth'', are determined to make the most of the latest arrival of Hollywood glamour.