The Milwaukee Irish Fest, the largest celebration of Irish culture and heritage in the US, took place recently. With a huge audience of about 150,000 attendees, the three-day festival was the ideal opportunity to spread the word about the exciting programme of events which is in the pipeline for ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’.
A number of tourism organisations from around the island of Ireland travelled to Milwaukee in Wisconsin for this year’s festival, to promote the superb tourism product and the diversity of culture on offer right around the island of Ireland. It was also a fantastic opportunity to invite some of the many people of Irish descent living and working in the US, as well as those with Irish connections or an affinity for Ireland, to come and visit Ireland next year for ‘The Gathering’.
Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s Executive Vice-President for the US and Canada, said: “The United States is a critically important market for tourism to the island of Ireland, second only to Britain in terms of visitor numbers. This autumn, Tourism Ireland will roll out a major programme of promotions in the US, and elsewhere around the world, to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’. We are extending an invitation to the tens of millions of people across the world who have ancestral links with Ireland to come home next year, as well as to the many others who feel linked by friendship, business or education, and to those who simply hold an affection for what Ireland has given to the world. And we are also calling on expatriates and those with an affinity for Ireland to get involved and organise their own ‘Gathering’ events in Ireland next year.”
‘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. It is an invitation to Irish people and those with a connection or interest in the country to visit next year. Tourism Ireland will roll out an extensive promotional programme of events for ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ this autumn in the United States, GB, Australia and other markets, working with the ‘Gathering’ project team.
Pictured at the Milwaukee Irish Fest in Wisconsin were Marie McKown, Tourism Ireland, with Joe Lowe and Sinéad McDermott, both Leitrim Tourism.
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.
• 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.