Tourism Ireland marked the introduction of the new Aer Lingus flight from Perpignan to Dublin by inviting a group of leading French journalists, representing some of the main newspapers and radio stations of Perpignan and the Langudoc Roussillon region, to visit Co Wicklow this week.
The journalists’ itinerary was designed by Fáilte Ireland and included a visit to Powerscourt House and Gardens in Enniskerry and to the monastic site at Glendalough. They sampled some Irish b+b hospitality, with afternoon tea and scones at Keppel’s Farmhouse in Avoca, and stayed overnight in Tinakilly House, Rathnew.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Southern Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring this group of influential journalists to Co Wicklow, so they can see for themselves the superb tourism product on offer in this part of Ireland. The introduction of the new Aer Lingus flight from Perpignan to Dublin is good news and will expand travel options for people from the South of France who wish to visit Ireland. This new service is a welcome endorsement of the French market’s potential and will play an important role in helping us to grow visitor numbers in 2011. Recently published visitor figures for the final quarter of 2010 showed a welcome return to growth from France (+25%) and this is an encouraging basis on which Tourism Ireland will build in 2011.
“We know the island of Ireland holds strong appeal for the French, who rank Ireland fourth on the list of places they would like to visit. Tourism Ireland promotions this year are highlighting compelling reasons to visit and the good value available here. We are driving home messages of friendliness, fun and humour as well as stunning landscapes and music.”
Joy Keppel (centre) and Anne Zemmour, Tourism Ireland France (second from right) welcomed a group of leading French journalists to Keppel’s Farmhouse in Avoca; also pictured is Suzanne Reid, B&B Ireland (fifth from right).
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 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.