The River Lee Hotel in Cork was the venue for the board meeting of Tourism Ireland this week. The board members took the opportunity when they were in the city to meet with local tourism operators, to discuss the forthcoming season and the extensive promotional programme which Tourism Ireland is rolling out across the globe right now. After the meeting, the board members visited Cobh – taking in the Titanic Trail, Titanic Experience Cobh, and Fota House. With the upcoming 100-year anniversary of the maiden voyage of Titanic, Tourism Ireland is highlighting Cobh in its promotions around the world, reminding people about the famous ship’s association with the town as its last port-of-call.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said that the meeting in Cork afforded him and the board members of Tourism Ireland a valuable opportunity to meet with local people working in tourism in Cork city and county: “We are delighted to be in Cork for our board meeting and to have this chance to meet with people working at the coalface in the tourism industry. Despite the global economic landscape of recent months, which continues to present a challenging environment for travel, the most recent figures from the CSO show growth of almost +3% for the three-month period December 2011 to February 2012, which is a positive start to the year. Particularly welcome is the growth of +6.6% in visitor numbers from Great Britain, our largest and most important market which delivers about 45% of all our overseas visitors.
“We anticipate that growth in overseas visitors numbers for the first quarter of this year will be slow; however, overall sentiment and anecdotal feedback from tour operators and travel trade contacts in our key markets, as well as from people working in the tourism industry around Ireland, is cautiously optimistic – particularly for quarters two and three of 2012. Right now, we are rolling out an extensive first half marketing campaign around the globe, to build on last year’s return to growth. Our promotions are urging people to come and ‘jump into Ireland’, highlighting the great value on offer as well as compelling reasons to visit.”
Brian Ambrose, chairman of Tourism Ireland; Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, deputy Lord Mayor of Cork; Gillen Joyce, Titanic Experience Cobh; and Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of GB.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 087-685 9027
Note 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 (+6% 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.