No. 486 NAI DFA 14/26

Letter from F.J. Cawley to Gordon Campbell (Dublin)
(91/30) (Copy)

Paris, 25 November 1930

With reference to the Department's minute of the 16th September (T.J.C.18537)1 relative to the pushing of tourist traffic to Saorstát Éireann during the year 1931, I have the honour to state that the matter has been receiving careful consideration.

The Legation has been in touch with a Mr. Holberton of the Cunard Steamship Company's Office in Paris on the question of tourist traffic generally and a letter dated the 20th instant2 has already been addressed to you as regards this gentleman and the assistance which he is in a position to afford.

The main direction of the effort here must be to induce purely French people to visit Ireland. Irish people resident in France do not need much encouragement to return for a holiday to Ireland and American tourists coming to France are not likely to be much influenced by Irish tourist literature here, as in every probability they have had their minds made up before leaving America as to whether they will visit Ireland or not. In order therefore to push the question of French people visiting the Free State it is highly desirable to have a reasonable supply of tourist literature in the French Language. Although, generally, the French people who are most likely to contemplate a visit to the Irish Free State are those who have a good acquaintance with the English language, descriptive and informative literature in the French language is bound to appeal more strongly to them than if in English. And French people whose knowledge of English is scant are likely to be more readily attracted by brochures in French than in English.

For these reasons the Legation would suggest that a brochure in French should be prepared, giving a good general description of the country and its attractions (scenery and sports in particular), the best means of travelling to and through the country, where to stay, general information as to hotels and their average prices. In fact the information entitled 'Official information for visitors' translated into French with the addition of more descriptive particulars of the scenic beauty of the country and some photographic views would be admirably suitable.

A small folder prepared by the Railways Company in French and which is excellent so far as it goes, is enclosed herewith for reference.

If a brochure in French as outlined above was prepared and about 1000 copies forwarded here, the Legation could easily effect a useful distribution of them - quite apart from any supplies that might be distributed by any other agency (such as Mr. Holberton if he is appointed).

Advertising on sound lines would, of course, be of great value. In this matter one would however have to be guided by whatever expert agent is appointed.

The Minister personally proposes to cooperate closely with any such agent and would use his influence to the utmost to send his prospective tourists and to obtain the good will of the heads of the big travel organisations. A campaign on these lines can however only be usefully launched when the Legation is properly installed in its new premises.

Another question which might usefully be considered is that of excursions from Paris to Dublin, especially during the summer. So far as the Legation can ascertain the only regular excursion available is that which is run by the Dunkirk-Tilbury route during the summer. That route is not popular with tourists generally who, as a rule, would prefer to travel via Calais-Dover, or Boulogne-Folkestone. If direct excursion tickets could be arranged for those routes the question of visiting Ireland would become more attractive. Another potentially popular excursion route would be the sea route via Cobh. But an exact appreciation of the rival merits of these routes is rather a matter for the Irish Tourist Association and its Paris Agent to decide between them. The Legation is not in a position to express an informed opinion on such a point.

With a view to beginning our cooperation as soon as possible I would be glad to know at your earliest convenience what action is being taken as regards the appointment of an Irish Tourist Association agent in Paris.

[copy letter unsigned]
For the Minister

1 Not printed.

2 Not printed.

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