Tourism Ireland warmly welcomes the announcement by Ryanair of four new services from Mainland Europe to Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK) for 2012; the new routes are from Frankfurt (Hahn), Paris (Beauvais), Milan (Bergamo) and Barcelona (Girona). Working closely with airlines to build demand for routes is a key priority for Tourism Ireland and these new flights will provide a welcome boost for tourism from France, Germany, Italy and Spain to Mayo and the west of Ireland.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “The introduction of these new Ryanair flights is fantastic news; they will certainly expand travel options for German, French, Italian and Spanish holidaymakers who wish to visit Mayo and the west of Ireland. We are already working closely with Ryanair and Ireland West Airport Knock to maximise the demand for these new routes and boost tourism to the area. 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 these four new flights, 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 Ryanair, Aer Lingus, 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 over +12% in visitors from Mainland Europe to Ireland for the first nine months of 2011. At the end of this month, we will outline our plans for 2012, when we will be pulling out all the stops to build on this growth and working to ensure that the west of Ireland, and the entire island, increases its share of the global travel business.”
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.