Tourism Ireland marked the inaugural Ryanair flight from Maastricht (Maastricht-Aachen) to Dublin by inviting nine top travel writers from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium to visit Ireland.
Representing various print and online publications with a combined readership of over 3.2 million potential Dutch, Germany and Belgian holidaymakers, the journalists were here to experience at first-hand some of the many things to see and do in Dublin for stories they are planning to write about city breaks here. Given that the journalists all represented media outlets from in and around the Dutch city of Maastricht – which is also within easy reach of a number of German and Belgian cities like Aachen, Cologne and Liège – this was also a fantastic opportunity to highlight the new Ryanair route and the excellent connectivity between this part of Northern Europe and Ireland.
During their time here, the group visited some of Dublin’s most iconic attractions, including the Guinness Storehouse, the National Museum of Ireland and the Old Jameson Distillery, before stopping off at Trinity College to view the Book of Kells. Their itinerary, designed by Fáilte Ireland, also included a Le Cool walking tour of Dublin and an evening at The Irish House Party on Francis Street.
Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s manager in the Netherlands, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of journalists to visit Dublin. Fact-finding visits such as these are an extremely important element of our promotional activity; they are a really effective way for us to get positive exposure through the media about the superb tourism product on offer in Dublin and Ireland.
“Mainland Europe is an increasingly important market for Irish tourism, now delivering even more holidaymakers and revenue than Great Britain – and, with the addition of this new route, we have the opportunity to attract even more Northern European holidaymakers. We very much welcome this new flight from Maastricht and look forward to working closely with Ryanair to maximise the promotion of the new route. As an island, direct, convenient and competitive access services are critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism.”
The new Ryanair route from Maastricht-Aachen to Dublin will operate three times a week and will provide an additional 60,000 seats from the Netherlands to Ireland every year.
Cutting the ribbon at the launch of Ryanair’s new route from Maastricht-Aachen to Dublin are (l-r) Henrike Schmidt, Ryanair; Sander Heijmans, CEO of Maastricht-Aachen Airport; and Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland.
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.
• Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.