JUNIOR health minister Jim Daly has suggested installing ‘phone seats’ around the coast in order for tourists to take stable selfies.
According to Minister Daly, the proposal hopes to solve one of the biggest difficulties for tourists at well-known beauty spots … where do you take the holiday selfie?
‘It will also prove to serve as one of the most innovative marketing tools to showcase Ireland abroad,’ he claimed.
The minister has proposed to Failte Ireland that selfie stands, where tourists can find the best spots to take photographs of themselves and their families against the backdrop of our unique landscape, be provided at all appropriate look-out points.
Speaking to The Southern Star, Minister Daly said the idea came from a constituent.
‘Families and individuals love taking photographs of themselves in areas of natural beauty. But often it is almost impossible to find a steady location or to know where the best shot is,’ he added. ‘Tourists, being time sensitive, like to know where to go and what to do. They also like clear shots rather than grainy images on their social media and Instagram.’
He also proposed that hash-tags be encouraged to showcase the natural landscape that Ireland has to offer visitors. The scheme, he continued, is ‘high on practicality and light on costs, any stands will of be unobtrusive and protect the character of the area’.
He said the ‘phone seats’ could be incorporated into already existing Wild Atlantic Way markers. ‘My colleague Minister for Tourism Brendan Griffin has already informed me that his officials are looking into developing a prototype. It may well be operated as a pilot in well-known tourist spots like Cork and Kerry.’
It is believed that similar stands are already a big hit in Asia in tourist locations.
Minister Daly said that within West Cork there are dozens of locations that would suit the ‘selfie phone seats’, including the Old Head of Kinsale, Mizen Head, the Beacon in Baltimore, Lough Hyne woods, to mention just a few.
He added: ‘When it comes to tourism, informal marketing and word of mouth are as vital as more conventional marketing tools. The selfie has replaced the much-feared collection of slides as the swiftest way of conveying an image of beauty.
‘When it comes to a picture painting a thousand words, the selfie is a very effective marketing tool and we need to harness its potential more. This is a cost-free innovative proposal that will allow Ireland present our best face to the world.’
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