Michael Ring T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, visited New York recently, to brief key American decision-makers about important tourism developments around the island of Ireland. At the event, organised by Tourism Ireland, Minister Ring met with influential tour operators, carriers and media, encouraging them to promote Ireland as a superb holiday and business tourism destination.
Addressing the guests, Minister Ring said: “Tourism is one of our largest indigenous industries and the nearly one million visitors who travel every year from North America are a very important part of that. Our two countries share a wonderful relationship and a great affinity built up over generations. We look forward to continuing that bond and continuing to welcome our friends from the US to Ireland.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are delighted that Minister Ring travelled to New York to help us deliver the message about the many great reasons to visit Ireland in 2011. The United States is a tremendously important market for us, second only to Britain in terms of delivering visitor numbers. Our focus is on maximising the potential of the unique occasion of the recent visit by President Obama and on promoting Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination to the millions of Americans who will come into contact with Ireland in the coming days and weeks.”
North America is the second-largest market for tourists to Ireland, delivering around 900,000 visitors who spend over €600 million each year. Newly released figures from the CSO for the first quarter of 2011 show a welcome return to growth in visitor numbers from North America, with a +12% increase over the same period in 2010.
Minister Michael Ring visited New York recently to brief key American decision-makers about important tourism developments around the island of Ireland. Pictured with Minister Ring (second from right) at the event are Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland North America; Patricia O’Reilly, host of ‘Out Of Ireland’ PBS TV show; and Jack Foley, Aer Lingus North America.
For further information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
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 6.9 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.