Tourism Ireland marked the introduction of the new Aer Lingus flight from Paris to Shannon by inviting a group of leading French journalists, representing some of France’s top newspapers, magazines and websites, to visit Co Clare and the Shannon Region at the weekend.
The journalists’ busy itinerary was designed by Fáilte Ireland, in conjunction with Shannon Development, and included a tour of Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and an Irish coffee-making demo in Durty Nelly’s. They visited the Burren, stopping off in Ennis along the way, and took in the spectacular Cliffs of Moher. The group also spent time in Doolin and enjoyed a traditional music session in Miltown Malbay.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Southern Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring this group of influential journalists to Co Clare, so they can see for themselves the superb tourism product on offer in this part of Ireland. The introduction of the new Aer Lingus flight from Paris to Shannon is good news and will expand travel options for French tourists wishing to visit Co Clare and the West of Ireland. The new service is a welcome endorsement of the French market’s potential and will play an important role in helping us to grow visitor numbers in 2011. Recently published visitor figures for the final quarter of 2010 showed a welcome return to growth from France (+25%) and this is an encouraging basis on which Tourism Ireland will build in 2011.
“We know the island of Ireland holds strong appeal for the French, who rank Ireland fourth on the list of places they would like to visit. Tourism Ireland promotions this year will highlight compelling reasons to visit and the good value available here. We will drive home messages of friendliness, fun and humour as well as stunning landscapes and music.”
Influential French journalists visited Bunratty Castle & Folk Park at the weekend; they are pictured with Anne Zemmour, Tourism Ireland France (left) and Marie Brennan, Shannon Heritage and Siobhán King, Shannon Development (right).
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027
Note 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 6.6 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 45 different websites, providing information in 19 different languages covering every continent. In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.