Tourism projects provide significant opportunities for supporting jobs in rural areas. Call of the Wild was a joint regional tourism initiative between Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport which asked people living along the Wild Atlantic Way to share images and videos of the hidden gems in their counties whether it be a secluded beach, unknown coastal walkway of the perfect café, so the tourism agencies could in turn share it with the world.
The aim of the campaign, which ran for three months from October to December 2018, was to showcase the beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way – the longest defined coastal touring route in the world – and to encourage potential visitors in the US, Britain, Germany and France and other markets to come and experience the Wild Atlantic Way for themselves in 2019.
The response from people along the Wild Atlantic Way was significant, with more than 4,000 uploads of stunning scenery, regional delicacies and local delights captured on camera and then shared via social media using the hashtag #MyWildAtlanticWay. From these, the top submissions from each county featured in a suite of videos that were launched in overseas markets by Tourism Ireland.
A sporting personality from each county helped launch the campaign, serving as Call of the Wild Ambassadors. These included: Alan Cawley from Sligo, Aidan O’Mahony from Kerry, Michael Murphy from Donegal, Lee Keegan from Mayo, Podge Collins from Clare, Orla Finn from Cork, David Collins from Galway and Róisín Upton from Limerick. Well-known Irish personalities based in Britain also joined the campaign to share their personal stories and memories of the Wild Atlantic Way. These included Angela Scanlon, Laura Whitmore, Vogue Williams, Connor Phillips, Paul O’Connell, Chris Walley, Clodagh McKenna and Pixie McKenna.
Collaboration with local communities was key to the success of the campaign, which delivered superb results, with some 14 million views recorded in Ireland’s top tourism markets. This campaign has further enhanced Ireland’s tourism image overseas and placed a greater emphasis on promoting regional growth.