Tourism Ireland warmly welcomes the announcement by Aer Lingus of a new service from Brussels to Cork, commencing in March 2012. Working closely with airlines to build demand for routes is a key priority for Tourism Ireland and this new flight will provide a welcome boost for tourism to Cork and the South of Ireland from Belgium.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “The introduction of this new Aer Lingus flight is fantastic news; it will certainly expand travel options for Belgian holidaymakers who wish to visit Cork and Ireland. We are already working closely with Aer Lingus and Cork Airport to maximise the demand for the new route and boost tourism. As an island destination, direct, convenient and competitive access services are critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. Tourism Ireland is committed to working with air and sea carriers, airports and other tourism interests to drive demand for the new flight, and all other services to Ireland, and to help maintain our vital network of routes and services.”
A €9 million tourism marketing blitz with carriers – including Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Aer Arann, Emirates, US Airways and ferry companies – is under way right now in major markets, supported by revenues from the air travel tax and involving matching funds from the carriers.
Niall Gibbons continued: “We have seen very welcome growth of almost +10% in visitors from Mainland Europe to Ireland for the first ten months of 2011. Tourism Ireland will be striving to ensure that the island of Ireland increases its share of the global travel business in 2012 and beyond.”
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 6.9 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.