Industry partners from around the island of Ireland joined Tourism Ireland at FITUR, a major travel fair which took place last week in Madrid.
FITUR (Feria Internacional de Turismo) is the largest trade and consumer travel show in Spain, attracting over 209,000 visitors last year, including leading travel media, tour operators, travel agents, EFL (English as a Foreign Language) providers and business tourism buyers, as well as about 90,000 potential Spanish holidaymakers looking for ideas and suggestions for their next short break or holiday destination.
Despite the challenging economic circumstances, the Spanish market performed well for tourism to the island of Ireland in 2011. The average length of stay for Spanish holidaymakers is 7.1 nights and they tend to travel to several different regions when they are here. Increased capacity on Iberia’s Madrid-Dublin route, as well as on the Aer Lingus Bilbao-Dublin route, should help grow visitor numbers from Spain this year. Commenting on the year ahead, Barbara Woods, Tourism Ireland Spain, said: “Tourism Ireland will have a busy programme of promotional activity in place in Spain throughout 2012, to capitalise on the strong interest here in the island of Ireland and to grow visitor numbers from Spain. Working with our industry partners, we will promote the distinctiveness of Ireland, the great value available and the ease of getting there from Spain.”
With the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s maiden voyage taking place this year, Tourism Ireland aims to capitalise on the huge interest that exists among people around the world in Titanic, building the recognition of Belfast as the home of the famous ship and of Cobh as its last port of call. This year’s Tourism Ireland stand at FITUR had a special Titanic theme, celebrating the legacy of the iconic ship. Seven Spanish TV crews broadcast from ‘on board’ Titanic at FITUR, including national stations La 1 and Telecinco, as well as Telemadrid, a Madrid TV station.
Jason Clifford, Dunloe Castle Hotel, Killarney; Barbara Wood, Tourism Ireland; Paloma Cortajarena, Aer Lingus; Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland; Titanic character; Margarita Gruber, Irlanda en Espaňol (tour operator); Tatiana de los Reyes, CIE Tours International; and H.E. Justin Harman, Irish Ambassador to Spain, at FITUR 2012 in Madrid.
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 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.