Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D. met with tourism representatives from Ireland at the annual MAP (le Monde à Paris) holiday fair, which took place recently in Paris.
MAP is a major travel show that attracts over 100,000 visitors each year – including influential tour operators, travel agents and travel writers, as well as many thousands of potential French holidaymakers looking for ideas and suggestions for their next short break or holiday destination. The four-day event provided a valuable opportunity for the participating Irish tourism companies to showcase their tourism product.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Southern Europe, said: “France is Ireland’s fourth largest overseas tourism market. Tourism Ireland has put an ambitious plan in place to increase the number of French holidaymakers by +40% over four years. Our new strategy will create a sense of urgency, to inspire French holidaymakers to ‘visit now’. It is now easier than ever to get to the island of Ireland from all regions of France and Tourism Ireland, together with our industry partners, is pulling out all the stops to convey the message that it has never been a better time to visit.”
While the island of Ireland holds strong appeal in the French market – with about 400,000 French visitors coming here in 2011 – Tourism Ireland plans to deliver even stronger growth in the coming years. More than half of all French visitors stay in Ireland for one to two weeks.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D. (fourth from right) met with tourism partners from around Ireland at MAP in Paris.
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.
• In 2011, approximately 7.3 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland (+6% on 2010), delivering revenue of approximately €3.4 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 2011, discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.