Spotlight on Galway in Abu Dhabi

10 Jan 2012

The Volvo Ocean Race has arrived in Abu Dhabi – the third stopover port of the race – and Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar joined Tourism Ireland and the Irish Embassy on Friday last (6th January), for a special ‘Ireland Day’ in the Volvo Ocean Race Village.

The ‘Ireland Day’ event was an excellent opportunity to showcase Galway and the island of Ireland as a fantastic holiday destination and is part of Tourism Ireland’s publicity drive around the world during the nine-month race to reach a huge audience of potential holidaymakers. Through a day-long programme of Ireland-themed activities and entertainment – which included cookery demonstrations by members of Good Food Ireland, Irish dancing and music – the ‘Ireland Day’ event helped to bring the island of Ireland to life for the many visitors to the race village.

The Volvo Ocean Race attracts huge publicity – with billions of people around the globe seeing it on TV, reading about it and tuning in to hear about it on the radio. As the race makes its way towards its final destination of Galway this summer, Tourism Ireland is working in key markets where the race stops, to ensure that Galway and Ireland are in the spotlight.

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: "The Volvo Ocean Race attracts huge publicity around the world and with Galway due to host the grand finale, there’s an ideal opportunity to showcase Galway and the west, and the many attractions that the island of Ireland has to offer as a holiday destination. The event is a great ‘hook’ for Tourism Ireland to reach a huge audience of potential holidaymakers.”

Galway will host the final stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 in July. The 2009 stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway brought 40,500 international visitors to the city, as well as 269 journalists from around the world. 

Knut Mauritz Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race; Mayor of Galway city Cllr Hildegarde Naughton; and Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons, at the ‘Ireland Day’ during the stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in Abu Dhabi. In the background is the Galway Bay Hooker which is in Abu Dhabi as part of the Maritime Heritage Cultural Exchange Programme with the Emirates Heritage Club and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.


Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland  t:  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; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent.  In 2010 attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.



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