New Visa Waiver Scheme Serves up Immediate Opportunities for Irish Tourism

13 May 2011

On the back of the newly announced visa waiver scheme, a tourism trade mission departs this weekend for a five-day sales blitz overseas.  The mission’s purpose will be to encourage tour operators and travel agents from the Asia-Pacific region to include the island of Ireland in future holiday programmes.  

The Tourism Ireland-led delegation will participate in Destination Britain & Ireland (DEBI), the biggest B2B travel trade event in the region, and meet with 120 top-producing tour operators, travel agents and travel media from 15 emerging markets including India, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

Commenting on the opportunity, Tourism Ireland Chief Executive, Niall Gibbons, said:
“With the Government’s recently announced imaginative tourist visa waiver scheme making it easier for tourists from emerging economies to visit Ireland, the time is right to step up promotion in markets in the Asia-Pacific region. 

“The Asia-Pacific region offers exciting possibilities for tourism to the island of Ireland in the medium- to long-term.  The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has forecast that the Asia-Pacific region will be one of the fastest-growing regions for outbound travel in the next ten years. 

“While we are working hard in the traditional markets of Great Britain and the US to capitalise on the huge international interest arising from the visits of Queen Elizabeth and President Obama, Tourism Ireland is also very active right now in markets like India to raise the profile of the island of Ireland as a premier holiday and business tourism destination.  Promotions like DEBI are an invaluable part of that marketing effort”.

                                                                                                                                                Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland with Minister for Tourism, Leo Varadkar T.D. and Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter T.D.


Further information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 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 6.9 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; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent.  In 2010 attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.



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