Pictured at the Tourism Ireland booth at the Milwaukee Irish Fest in Wisconsin which took place recently is Éamon Ó Cuív T.D. (centre) with Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland and Ciaran Barry, Sceptre Tours.
The Milwaukee Irish Fest is the largest celebration of Irish culture and heritage in the US, attracting about 150,000 visitors each year. The four-day festival was a good opportunity for Tourism Ireland to showcase the superb tourism product and the diversities of culture on offer around the island of Ireland.
Tourism Ireland recently launched a new campaign, targeting the Irish diaspora throughout the US, so this was also a good opportunity to remind festival-goers of Irish descent to re-connect with their roots and take a holiday to Ireland this year. Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s Executive Vice President United States and Canada, commented: “Tourism Ireland’s ‘This is the year to come home’ campaign has been targeting up to 10 million members of the Irish diaspora throughout the US. We have been highlighting the ‘welcome home’ message and terrific value offers on offer. We have also targeted those of Ulster Scots descent across the US in recent years. This year’s Milwaukee festival included a special ‘Northern Ireland Showcase’ highlighting the culture, heritage and music of Northern Ireland and allowing visitors to explore Northern Ireland through song, with musicians like Kieran Goss, the McPeake family and Different Drums; and through art, lectures and displays including an exhibit on Narnia, from the CS Lewis series of books.
“The US is a key tourism market for the island of Ireland and we have a strong and comprehensive promotional programme under way this year. We are actively responding to the current difficult trading conditions by communicating strongly that the island of Ireland is a great place to visit, is easily accessible from the US and offers tremendous value for money.”
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For further information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027
Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• 7.6 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2009, delivering revenue of €3.46 billion.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 41 different websites, providing information in 19 different languages.