As part of an international marketing and branding campaign by The Shannon Group, Ireland, a contingent from Shannon visited the US for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Shannon and the West of Ireland has a long history with America going back centuries. From a path of emmigration, generations of visitors from both countries traveling back and forth through Shannon Airport has led to a strong bonded relationship between the US and the West of Ireland.

The representatives of the group visiting the US were emphasizing the benefits of traveling through Shannon Airport, visiting the West of Ireland and its unique attractions to tourists and businesses alike.

Chief Commerical Officer Andrew Murphy said “our relationship with America has strong and deep ties. But we don’t take that relationship for granted. It’s important that we show our appreciation to the thousands of Americans that visit our area each year and we want to highlight the attractions of travel to Shannon Airport and the incredible culture, history and landscape on our doorstep.”

Shannon Airport has 1.6 million passengers per year traveling through the airport and this figure is rapidly increasing. There are 33 scheduled destinations across the UK, Europe and North America and Shannon continues to grow and develop these routes with its airline partners.

With daily flights to the USA, access to the West of Ireland has never been easier. Visitors get the opportunity to discover the beauty, history and culture of Ireland, from the iconic Cliffs of Moher, to the original Bunratty medieval festival to the rugged landscape of Connemara, the West of Ireland has so much to offer visitors of all ages. The Wild Atlantic Way, of the Atlantic Coastline which stretches from the North of Donegal to the most southerly point of Co Cork is an amazing and unique visitor experience - and with a thriving food and bar scene, pretty village, castles and country manors providing amazing accommodation and leisure activities, it is a tourist’s dream vacation.

Murphy went on to say “Shannon Airport, Ireland’s first airport has been called the most ‘user friendly’ airport in Europe. We pride ourselves in a ‘hassle free’ travel experience when you visit Shannon and travel through our airport. In 2009 Shannon Airport became the first airport in Europe to have full US Pre-clearance services following the construction of a new US Customs and Border Protection preclearance facility and this is a wonderful benefit to American visitors”.

Shannon has been at the forefront of economic development in Ireland. The world’s first free trade zone opened in Shannon in the 1950’s to provide a new business model for US multinational firms to do business with Europe. This pioneering concept was the catalyst for an explosion of free trade zones all over the world - which began in Shannon, Co Clare, Ireland. The first airport duty free shop was established in Shannon Airport in 1947 and it recently launched an online site.

Shannon’s International Aviation Services Center is an aerospace industry cluster with an outstanding list of American leading names in aviation. The Aviation Services Center offers an ideal location for international aerospace firms with a range of aviation services from maintenance, repair and overhaul to aircraft leasing which is a thriving industry worldwide that originated in Shannon.

Shannon Commercial Properties has a portfolio of business and industrial properties across the Midwest of Ireland. It is one of the largest portfolios of property in Ireland and construction will soon be underway on new state-of-the-art industrial buildings and office spaces.

“Combined with the lowest corporate tax rate in Europe, a highly skilled workforce, proximity to the airport and a flexible and dynamic approach to business, Shannon and the Mid West region is a highly attractive proposition for US multinational companies seeking to locate a base in Europe” said Mr Murphy.

In this significant year – the centenary anniversary of the 1916 Easter rising, Shannon Heritage has established a museum and exhibition center at the GPO in Dublin which will be a key attraction for both Irish and international tourists from March 2016 onwards.

The Shannon Group started its USA trip by sponsoring the Ireland US Council luncheon in New York on March 16. They were guests of Mayor de Blasio at the St Patrick’s Day breakfast at Gracie Mansion, attending several other events before marching in the parade with their fellow countrymen.

The Shannon Group then went on to Boston where an 18-team of Shannon Airport Police and Fire Service attended the Massachusetts State Senator Linda Forry’s breakfast in Boston. They visited with a number of prominent travel and tour operators in Boston and attended the Irish Network Boston reception at Fenway Park. The Group were special guests of the Boston College Eagles Football Team where they watched team practice and met the Head Coach, Steve Addazio. They finished the trip by marching in the St Patrick’s Day parade with their Boston counterparts.