To whet appetites for the marvellous spectacle of the forthcoming finale of the Volvo Ocean Race, a delegation from Galway joined Tourism Ireland in Florida last week, during the Miami stopover of the race. They met with some of the key travel trade and media contacts in Florida, at a reception organised by Tourism Ireland at the Ocean Club in South Beach. The event was an excellent opportunity to showcase Galway and Ireland as a fantastic holiday destination and was part of Tourism Ireland’s publicity drive around the world during the nine-month race to reach a huge audience of potential holidaymakers.
Many of America’s Irish community have their roots in the west of Ireland and the Volvo stopover in Miami was a perfect opportunity for Tourism Ireland to celebrate these historic links and to encourage people living in Florida, and beyond, to make the trip to Galway and Ireland this summer.
Ruth Moran, Tourism Ireland’s communications manager in the US, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to welcome the Galway delegation here to Miami. We are encouraging our friends in South Florida to come and visit Galway and the island of Ireland this summer. We also look forward to working closely with our partners in Galway – and elsewhere around the island – as we prepare for a very special year in 2013. ‘The Gathering 2013’ is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate what it means to be Irish and what better place to do that than on the island itself. Tourism Ireland will roll out an extensive programme of promotional activity across the US in the second half of this year, to highlight ‘The Gathering 2013’.”
Mayor of Galway Hildegarde Naughton, who has played an important part in the event preparation, explained how important the festival is, not only for Galway but the entire country. “This is a huge opportunity for Galway, and indeed Ireland, to showcase what we have to offer in terms of culture, business and the corporate world. The cultural exchange and links that have already been made have huge potential and that is something we hope to build upon in the future.”
Team Sanya crew members (behind) with (front l-r) Enda O'Coineen, Let's Do It Global; Fiona Monaghan, Fáilte Ireland; Ruth Moran, Tourism Ireland; Mayor of Galway city Cllr Hildegarde Naughton; Mike Sanderson, skipper of Team Sanya; Paul Gleeson, Consul General of Ireland; and Fiona Dunne, Tourism Ireland, at a reception for travel trade and media organised by Tourism Ireland at the Ocean Club in South Beach.
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.