"Travel with Stephanie Abrams!" Radio Show - March 09, 2014
Brigit's Garden, Ireland.

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Hour 1

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Tracy Nieporent, Partner and Director of Marketing, Myriad Restaurant Group, New York City, New York, USA.
www.myriadrg.com

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For more information visit www.myriadrg.com


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Ernest Dwight, Board of Trustees Member, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation, Coral Gables, Florida, USA.
www.chtaeducationfoundation.com

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Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
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For more information visit www.chtaeducationfoundation.com


Guests Include:

Tracy Nieporent, Partner and Director of Marketing, Myriad Restaurant Group, New York City, New York, USA.
www.myriadrg.com

Ernest Dwight, Board of Trustees Member, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation, Coral Gables, Florida, USA.
www.chtaeducationfoundation.com

Hour 2

Topics Include:

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Click here to listen to Alison Metcalfe, Executive Vice President United States and Canada, Tourism Ireland interviewed by Stephanie Abrams without commercials.

Alison Metcalfe, Executive Vice President United States and Canada, Tourism Ireland, New York City, New York, USA.
www.ireland.com

Discover Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way and its over 1600 miles of coastal roads.

Alison Metcalfe, Executive Vice President United States and Canada for Tourism Ireland and Travel Expert and Radio Show Host Stephanie Abrams are meeting at the Algonquin Hotel in midtown New York City to discuss Ireland and talk to listeners about all the reasons they should plan a visit to Ireland. Alison says that over forty million Americans share Irish ancestry and she encourages them to come back to Ireland and explore where their ancestors are from. In 2013, Tourism Ireland held "The Gathering" and invited people to come and connect with Ireland, its culture and heritage. In 2014 they are "rolling out the green carpet" with many events and festivals planned. Alison says one of the major draws of travel to Ireland is that everything is open year round. She suggests as a few examples of out of the box thinking, that tourists bring their golf outing, business meeting, etc. to Ireland and help with Ireland's economic recovery.

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams says she tends to visit Ireland two to four times per year and has probably driven about 55,000 miles, as of this interview, which is quite a bit of getting around on the island and that with all that travel she still hasn't fully explored Ireland. On each trip she finds new hidden gems, nooks and crannies each overflowing with history. For example, on a recent trip she finally paid a visit to the Irish Jewish Museum in Dublin and learned a number of interesting things. Firstly she discovered that the Irish Jewish Museum did their own version of Tourism Ireland's "The Gathering" by inviting between two hundred to four hundred Jewish Americans with Irish connections who traveled to Ireland for the event. Also, interestingly, she found out that Chaim Herzog who was the sixth President of Israel was born in Belfast and raised in Dublin. His father was a rabbi in Belfast and later became the chief rabbi for Ireland when he moved the family to Dublin. Also, Chaim Herzog introduced the celebration of Saint Patrick's Day to Israel when he became President of Israel. The Irish Jewish Museum is actually now expanding and they've secured their building permits. Stephanie suggests that visitors to Ireland make a trip over to the museum.

Alison Metcalfe says that it's very easy to scratch beneath the surface of Ireland and its communities and find authentic experiences with hardly any difficulty whether it be by taking a guided walking tour or Stephanie and Alison joke that if you stop and ask someone for directions they are likely to hop in the car with you and take you there or invite you in for tea; a very typically Irish reaction, and a reflection of the warmth and hospitality that makes Ireland so special. Alison goes on to describe an Ireland vacation as a time to relax and breathe in the atmosphere. She says it gives people head space to enjoy the music and culture of Ireland.

Show Host Stephanie Abrams talks about one of the cultural differences between Ireland and the United States which is pub-culture. This interview is being conducted in the lobby of the Algonquin Hotel, a classy mid-town Manhattan Hotel with a swanky lobby and lounge. She remarks that though there are lots of people in the lounge, it's a very subdued atmosphere and there's only the occasional chuckle or murmur from the patrons. She says that if this was Ireland the place would be filled with laughter and what the Irish call "craic" (pronounced 'crack'), or lively conversation and good fun.

Alison Metcalfe thinks that when you are planning vacations it's all about planning for fun and when most people think about travel to Ireland they are thinking about the people. She says that the people of Ireland are the glue that binds together the history and the scenery. Ranging from culinary to music, poetry or storytelling it's the people that bring it to life.

Stephanie remarks that one of the most unique things about an Ireland tourist trip are the interactions with the Irish. She thinks many American travelers think about trip planning in terms of a list of monuments or museums or venues to visit and that for most it's a "running" trip, but with an Ireland trip you will find an amazing dose of friendliness that you won't get anywhere else. Alison says agrees that the people of Ireland and its Celtic history are something special and different that only Ireland can offer.


Alison Metcalfe was actually born in England, but her family is all from Northern Ireland and their family home is in Helen's Bay, County Down. She says her husband is also from Northern Ireland, Belfast, though they both had to travel to North America to meet each other.

Stephanie and Alison move on to discuss Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way which extends from the north in Malin Head ,in County Donegal to the south in Kinsale in County Cork. The Wild Atlantic Way follows the counties coastal route and is about 2500 kilometers or 1600 miles long which makes it the longest defined coastal driving route in the world. The Wild Atlantic Way is a tourism initiative launched by Minister Michael Ring to promote over a 150 discovery points along the way and includes food, hiking trails, castles, music and culture all along the route.

Looking at a map of Ireland, The Republic of Ireland wraps around the top of Northern Ireland. The most northern part of Ireland is actually in the Republic of Ireland, not Northern Ireland. Malin Head is at the top of Inishowen. Stephanie says that as you drive up the West coast of Inishowen, which is the northern part of Donegal, it looks very much like the east coast of Maine in the United States, with lighthouses and a rugged coastline. She says that if you love Maine's coast and charm you'll also love Inishowen. Fort Dunree is in that region and well worth a visit.

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams also mentions Ceide Fields, a place she thinks everyone should visit. Its the remnants of a 6000 year old Stone Age agrarian society, located in County Mayo. Stephanie says when you get there, to ask for Gretta Byrne and "give her a hug and tell her it's from Stephanie Abrams". Stephanie describes a visit to Ceide Fields as a spiritual almost religious experience.

Stephanie says that if she were to buy a home in Ireland it would be somewhere between Spiddal in County Galway and Inishowen in County Donegal. She says "the folks that live there refer to it as 'authentic' Ireland", though she thinks all of Ireland is authentic. There are places where there are unbroken beauty where man hasn't mucked it up. Alison agrees that much of Ireland is unspoiled and it's easy to imagine that the land looked just the same several hundred years ago.

Alison says the golf in Ireland is amazing and the 19th hole equally great. She says that the comparison between Golf in Scotland and golf in Ireland is that while both countries have great golf, the good cheer in the pub at the end of the round is something particularly special in Ireland.

When visiting Ireland you can Fly into Dublin or Shannon, which is the natural gateway to start exploring the west, and working your way up the rugged coastline. You can also fly into Dublin and drive just two hours to Galway and from there start exploring the coast. You can also work your way up the coast and fly back out of Belfast.

Alison says last year Derry/Londonderry was the UK's "First City of Culture" and that it's the only completely walled city in Ireland. If you come around the Inishowen Peninsula, come into Derry and come around the causeway coastal routes the Wild Atlantic Way will take you all the way from Kinsale through the Inishowen Peninsula, 'round the walled city of Derry and then along the causeway coastal route where you can explore Giant's Causeway, a World Heritage site, and all the myths and legends about the giant Finn McCool. Also in the area are the Bushmills Whiskey Distillery. Alison Says you can stay at the Bushmills Inn, or there are tons of great places to stay along the route. She says that "All the way down the west coast there is something for everybody and that no traveler coming to Ireland should miss that part of the country".

Alison thinks that Ireland is meant to be toured and the coastline is meant to be explored, saying that while there are great things to be found inland, it's the coasts that seem to attract most American travelers. Stephanie and Alison agree that Ireland is a great place to visit any time and that its getting much easier to get there because of more flights.

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Travelers411 Directory:
Click here for the Tourism Ireland Directory listing where you'll find links to all interviews with Tourism Ireland in one place.

Click here for more info and links to all interviews featuring Alison Metcalfe.

Related Travelers411 Mini Site:
http://www.travelers411.com/minisite/ireland

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17723

For more information visit www.ireland.com


Guests Include:

Alison Metcalfe, Executive Vice President United States and Canada, Tourism Ireland, New York City, New York, USA.
www.ireland.com

Hour 3

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Elaine Chu, Director, Program Planning, Road Scholar Program, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
www.roadscholar.org

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Travelers411 Directory:
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Click here for more info and links to all interviews featuring Elaine Chu.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
https://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17722

For more information visit www.roadscholar.org


Guests Include:

Elaine Chu, Director, Program Planning, Road Scholar Program, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
www.roadscholar.org

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