A group of top German journalists flew into Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK) today (Saturday, 5 May) on the brand new Lufthansa flight from Düsseldorf. They were greeted upon arrival by Michael Ring TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, and by Joe Gilmore, Managing Director of IWAK.
Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland in Germany, the journalists will spend the next few days exploring Co Mayo and experiencing some of the many things to see and do in this part of Ireland. The aim of the visit is to highlight the Lufthansa service and the new, excellent connectivity between Germany and the west of Ireland. The group includes representatives from a popular radio station and various print and online publications, with a combined audience of over two million potential holidaymakers living in and around Düsseldorf.
The journalists’ itinerary, designed by Fáilte Ireland, includes a visit to the Knock Shrine; an afternoon of clay pigeon shooting, archery and fishing at Mount Falcon Estate; cycling from Mulranny along the Great Western Greenway; a walking tour with local guide Gerry Greensmyth of Croagh Patrick Walking Tours; and a guided walk around Cong.
Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s chief executive, said: “This new Lufthansa flight from Düsseldorf to Ireland West Airport Knock is really great news and will expand travel options for German holidaymakers who wish to visit the west of Ireland this summer. Tourism Ireland is working closely with Lufthansa, Ireland West Airport Knock and other tourism interests to drive demand for this service from Düsseldorf, to grow tourism business from Germany.
“Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring this group of journalists to Co Mayo. Fact-finding visits like this are very important; they are a really effective way for us to get positive exposure for Ireland through the media in Germany, helping us to showcase the superb tourism product on offer in this part of Ireland to millions of potential German holidaymakers. Tourism Ireland has an exceptionally strong promotional programme under way in Germany this year, to showcase the distinctiveness of a holiday here. Those Germans interested in taking a holiday involving sightseeing and local culture are our core target; Tourism Ireland is also targeting consumers who engage in outdoor activities while on holidays.”
The German market performed well for tourism to the island of Ireland in 2011, delivering about 421,000 visitors, an increase of +11% on 2010.
Minister Michael Ring (centre) and Joe Gilmore, Ireland West Airport Knock (left), welcome German journalists who flew in on the inaugural Lufthansa flight from Düsseldorf; also pictured is Monika Woermann (fifth right), Tourism Ireland, and Florian Granzdoerffer, Lufthansa (right).
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.