Forty-one Irish dancing students from Italy travelled to the west of Ireland, to take part in their very own ‘Gathering’. The students – whose visit was supported by Tourism Ireland – are from the Gens d’Ys Academy of Irish Dance, which provides Irish dancing classes to around 500 people in eight different schools around Italy.
One of the highlights of the group’s time here was a visit to the world-famous Cliffs of Moher (where they enjoyed some spontaneous Irish dancing!). They also enjoyed a special evening of traditional Irish music and céilí dancing at the Clybaun Hotel in Galway.
Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Italy, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to support the visit of these Irish dancers from Italy, so they could experience at first-hand some of what the west of Ireland has to offer. For many of them, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our magnificent scenery, the variety of things to see and do, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met.
“Although the major focus of Tourism Ireland’s promotional activity to highlight The Gathering this year is in countries with a strong Diaspora connection – like Britain, the US, Canada and Australia – Tourism Ireland is also working hard in markets like Italy to highlight Ireland and The Gathering. As well as directly targeting the Diaspora, we are also engaging with Irish clubs and associations around Italy, encouraging them to promote The Gathering to their networks and to encourage members to organise their own ‘Gathering’ in Ireland this year. Our message for Italian holidaymakers is that there has never been a better time to visit.”
Members of the Gens d’Ys Irish Academy of Irish Dance in Italy, with Umberto Crespi (right), Academy director, watching Simone Russo and Elena Bazan try out their Irish dancing during their visit to the Cliffs of Moher.
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 2012, an estimated 7.27 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.51 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, currently rolling out in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, consisting 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.