Tourism representatives from across the island of hit the road in Australia and New Zealand recently, for a ten-day sales blitz of both countries, led by Tourism Ireland. They visited the cities of Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth – meeting with over 500 influential travel agents, tour operators and journalists during specially tailored business-to-business workshop sessions and networking events, telling them all about what the island of Ireland has to offer potential holidaymakers from ‘Down Under’.
With over 2.2 million Australians claiming Irish ancestry, the sales mission was also a wonderful opportunity for Tourism Ireland to leverage those ties and to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’. As well as directly targeting the Diaspora and those with a connection to Ireland around the globe, Tourism Ireland is also working closely with influential travel agents and tour operators, so that they will encourage their clients to come here next year to enjoy the many festivals and events of ‘The Gathering’.
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets, said: “Australia and New Zealand are important markets for tourism to the island of Ireland, set to deliver over 150,000 visitors this year. Australians tend to stay longer than other holidaymakers, typically six to eight nights, they travel right around the island and many of them come here in the off-season.
“This type of trade mission, where we talk directly to influential travel agents and media, provides us with an excellent opportunity to spread the word about all the great things to see and do on a holiday in Ireland. It was also a valuable opportunity to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ and the fantastic programme of events planned for next year. Tourism Ireland has a major programme of promotions under way in Australia and New Zealand – and elsewhere around the world – to promote ‘The Gathering’. We are extending an invitation to the tens of millions of people across the world who have ancestral links with Ireland to visit next year, as well as to the many others who feel connected by friendship, business or education and to those who simply hold an affection for what Ireland has given to the world.”
“Country Club Down Under” delegation including (back l-r) Marie McEnallay and Gillian Kelly, both Tourism Ireland; Tomas McKenna, DeTour Campervans; Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar; Gillian Loughran, Sixt rent a car; Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland; Sally O’Brien, Aran Island Ferries; Alison Deegan, Manor House and Irish Country Hotels; John Callely Jameston Distillery Tours and Banquets; Diane Butler, Tourism Ireland; and (front l-r) Siobhán Byrne Learat, Adams & Butler; Odhran Dunne, Derry Visitor & Convention Bureau; Cindy Cattigan, Aer Lingus; Bernard Loughran, Sixt rent a car; Niall Gibbons, Donna Campbell, both Tourism Ireland; and Gillian Little, National Trust.
Further media information:
Jasmine O’Brien, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01-476 3425
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 (+4% 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.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ will be Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative and will consist of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country.