A group of influential journalists from the Middle East – including a TV crew from Dubai TV and a representative of ARN (the Arabian Radio Network) – visited Co Kildare last week as part of a fact-finding trip to Ireland. They flew to Dublin on Emirates’ inaugural flight from Dubai, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Emirates.
The aim of the journalists’ visit was to highlight the new route and the excellent connectivity between the Middle East and Dublin; and to showcase some of what this part of Ireland has to offer potential holidaymakers from the Gulf States. The group’s itinerary included a tour of the National Stud and Japanese Gardens as well as lunch at Harte’s Bar & Grill in Kildare town.
The new Emirates route from Dubai provides a very welcome boost for tourism, opening up the potential for increased tourism business for Ireland from the Middle East. Commenting on the visit of the TV crew and journalists, Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Asia, said: “The new Emirates service greatly enhances our connectivity from vital new and emerging markets like the Middle East. We have worked closely, through co-operative marketing programmes, with Emirates and Dublin Airport to help secure and drive demand for this new route and this activity will continue in the months ahead.
“Tourism Ireland is delighted to welcome this TV crew and group of journalists to Kildare and to Ireland. Fact-finding visits like this are very important; they are a cost-effective way for us to get positive exposure for the island of Ireland through the media in the Middle East, helping us to showcase what we have to offer to a wide audience of potential holidaymakers. Tourism Ireland is very active right now in markets like the Gulf States, working to raise the profile of the island of Ireland as a premier holiday destination. We are highlighting the visa waiver scheme introduced by the Government last year, which encourages visitors from emerging tourism markets to visit Ireland if they are visiting the UK, without the hassle of applying for a separate visa.”
Frieda O’Connell (left) and John Osborne (back, right) of the Irish National Stud welcome Middle Eastern journalists including (back, l-r) Michael O'Reilly, Gulf News; Louai Abou Abdallah, Dubai TV; Sanooj Muhammed Sherif, Arabian Radio Network; and (front l-r) Tarek Humouche, Dubai one TV; Humaid Al Zaabi, Dubai TV; Jonathan Hill, Emirates; Sallam Aggour, National Press Agency; and Mary Phelan, tour guide.
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.
• By the end of 2011, almost 7.4 million overseas visitors will have come to the island of Ireland (+7% 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 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.