14 Oct 2011

Wicklow was on the itinerary for a group of Abu Dhabi Government officials who visited Ireland recently, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Etihad Airways and Fáilte Ireland.

The officials were here on a fact-finding visit, to experience at first-hand some of what Ireland has to offer potential holidaymakers from the Middle East, as well as our conference and meeting facilities.  The officials began their Irish visit with a tour of Powerscourt House and Gardens, followed by an inspection visit of the Ritz-Carlton near Enniskerry where they enjoyed a specially-prepared halal dinner.

Tourism Ireland is working hard to leverage the Irish Government’s Visa Waiver Scheme, announced as part of the ‘Jobs Initiative’ earlier this year, in emerging tourism markets like the GCC countries – reminding people there that if they are visiting the UK, they can now come to Ireland without the cost or hassle of applying for a separate visa.

Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Asia, said: “We are very pleased that these Abu Dhabi Government officials have taken the time to come to Wicklow and Ireland, to see at first-hand the superb conference facilities, accommodation and tourist attractions we have to offer.  While we are working hard in the traditional tourism markets of Great Britain and the US, Tourism Ireland is also very active right now in markets like the Gulf States to raise the profile of the island of Ireland as a premier holiday and business tourism destination, highlighting the visa waiver scheme which has made it easier for tourists from emerging tourism markets to visit Ireland.”

                                                                                                                        Abu Dhabi Government officials at Powerscourt House and Gardens near Enniskerry with Annique Labuschagne, Tourism Ireland (second from left), during a recent fact-finding visit.


Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland  
Tel: 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.
• Approximately 6.7 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately €3 billion.  Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent.  In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.


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