Shooting Ireland: the American tourism market and promotional film

Sheila Meaney, John Robb


The 1950s emerges as a key decade in the development of modem Irish tourism. This paper explores the interplay of romantic and nostalgic images of Ireland with the opening of the Irish tourist market to a wider audience through the medium of film. Irish American influence is clearly seen in the projection of a traditional, rural lifestyle. Though dominant culturally, mid-century Irish American visitors tended to belong to the 'visiting friends and relations' category, less lucrative than the general vacation market. The early promotion of 'non-genealogical' American tourism can be seen to extend to European markets later. Ironically, American finance and advice tended to confirm pre-independence places, tastes and activities rather than nationalist alternatives.




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