In excess of one million people will have the opportunity to find out more about the fantastic holiday experience on offer around the island of Ireland, at some of the major holiday fairs taking place around Europe this spring.
Tourism Ireland, together with industry partners, will mount a significant presence at the top consumer and trade holiday shows in Europe this spring. Covering six countries, these will include ITB (International Tourism Exchange) in Berlin, the largest tourism fair in the world; FITUR, the largest trade and consumer travel show in Spain; BIT in Milan, Italy’s main tourism fair; and holiday fairs in Paris and Lyon – all bringing the Ireland message to approximately 1.1 million influential travel media, tour operators, travel agents and business tourism buyers, as well as potential holidaymakers looking for ideas and suggestions for their next short break or holiday destination.
Participation at these high profile shows is just one element of Tourism Ireland’s extensive promotional programme for 2011, which is being rolled out right now. The shows are an important platform for industry partners in particular, providing a valuable opportunity for direct, face-to-face contact with both consumers and decision-makers in the travel trade. They also provide a real opportunity for visitors to the Ireland stand to experience at first-hand the friendliness for which Irish people are renowned – before they decide to come and visit Ireland.
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “We know that Ireland holds strong appeal for Europeans, in particular our spectacular scenery, heritage and culture. We will be highlighting ‘stand-out’ things to see and do when they come here. Our campaigns in Mainland Europe will drive home messages of friendliness, humour, inspirational landscapes and music.”
Commenting on the importance of travel fairs for tourism industry partners to interact directly with potential holidaymakers, Gibbons continued: “There is no substitute for face-to-face engagement and working on the ground in our key markets. Participation by our industry partners with Tourism Ireland is vital at the various travel fairs, so that they can engage directly with consumers and trade and ultimately ‘close the sale’ to win more business.”
Tourism Ireland is focusing its promotional efforts on Germany, the largest outbound travel market in the world and the third-largest source of visitors for the island of Ireland; and on France, where Ireland is considered a highly aspirational destination, with French people ranking Ireland fourth when asked where they would holiday if money was no object.
Promotions in 2011 will target a younger audience who are more inclined to travel abroad on holiday and to be attracted by the particularly holiday experience on offer in Ireland. Activities including golf will be showcased and targeted at those interested in high quality outdoor and sporting experiences. High profile festivals and events will also be used in 2011 as ‘hooks’ to generate positive publicity and a ‘buzz’ about Ireland.
Sinéad Grace, Media & PR Manager, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 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.