Tourism organisations from across the island of Ireland joined Tourism Ireland in Milan for this year’s BIT (Borsa Internazionale del Turismo), Italy’s largest travel fair.
BIT attracts about 100,000 visitors each year, including many thousands of potential Italian holidaymakers, all looking for ideas and suggestions for their next short break or holiday destination. The show also attracts influential Italian travel writers, tour operators, EFL (studying English as a Foreign Language) providers and travel agents, who can help spread the message about the fantastic holiday experience on offer in Ireland. With the introduction of new Ryanair flights from Italy this year – Milan (Bergamo) to Ireland West Airport Knock and Pisa to Cork – as well as the new Aer Lingus service from Verona to Dublin, the show provided a fantastic opportunity to highlight to potential visitors and influential travel professionals alike just how easy it now is to reach Ireland from Italy.
Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Italy, said: “Tourism Ireland has a busy promotional programme in place to grow visitor numbers from Italy in 2012, highlighting the island of Ireland as a fantastic holiday destination. The introduction of the new Ryanair and Aer Lingus flights is great news; as an island destination, direct, convenient and competitive access services are critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism and these services will expand options for Italian holidaymakers who want to visit the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland is working hard to maximise the demand for these new routes and boost visitor numbers from Italy. Working with our industry partners in 2012, we will promote the distinctiveness of Ireland, the great value available and the ease of getting there from Italy.”
Teresa Gambino (second from right) and Alessandra Vecchiarelli, Abbey Tours (right), with two Italian tour operators at BIT 2012 in Milan.
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.
• In 2011, approximately 7.4 million overseas visitors came 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 2011 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.