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Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:46:17 +0000
(WATERVILLE, Ireland) -- "Loud American's [sic]" strike again. A café in southern Ireland was spotted proudly displaying a sign that read, "No bus/coach or, loud American's [sic]. Thank you."
The photo started receiving national attention after Maurice Campbell posted it to Twitter.
"I was a bit taken aback," Campbell told ABC News. "I mentioned it to them and said it was a very strange sign, and he [the owner] just sort of looked at me."
Campbell was vacationing in Waterville, a village on the Ireland southern coast below Killarney when he came upon Peter's Place Café and the sign.
"It seems like a guy who is running a place very much in his way, and he serves who he wants to and that’s the way of it," Campbell said. "I would have thought if it said no Africans, it would have caused a very different sort of trouble. It's a bit much."
Campbell, who resides in Northern Ireland, was especially surprised by the sign since that area is heavily reliant on tourism.
"What surprised me is that nobody from the local community had asked him to take it down, because, goodness, it's not a very welcoming thing when people are traveling around," he said. "We're all very happy to see Americans come – so many of you have origins of some sort in Ireland – and we like you to come spend your dollars. You're as welcome as are the flowers in May. So it's not good to see somebody putting something like that up."
There are probably very few businesses that would publicly share the café's sentiment in a country that has welcomed a record number of American visitors in 2013, and is on pace to surpass that for 2014, according to Tourism Ireland. Ireland hosted more than one million American visitors who spent about $1 billion in 2013, and American tourists tend to stay longer and spend more than the average tourist.
"The United States continues to be one of the strongest markets for tourism to the island of Ireland. 2013 was a record year for American visitors to Ireland – even surpassing our previous best year of 2007," Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said in a press release. "We are determined to ensure the success continues."
Locals share that sentiment, with Niall O'Driscoll tweeting out in response to Campbell's photo, "Sorry you had to see that. I'm from Cahersiveen, the town before Waterville, and we welcome all Americans loud or quiet."
Peter's Place Café did not immediately return ABC News' request for comment.
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