Preparing to Say ‘Hola’ to Spanish Students

21 Feb 2013

Language schools from around the island of Ireland joined Tourism Ireland at AULA, a promotion targeting EFL (English as a Foreign Language) providers and specialists, which took place in Madrid.

AULA (the International Educational Opportunities Exhibition) is an annual fair, attracting around 100,000 visitors, including students and their parents, as well as language teachers and decision-makers who are responsible for putting in place arrangements for Spanish students who wish to travel abroad to improve their English. The event provided a valuable opportunity for the participating partners to showcase their language facilities and to communicate what is unique about the island of Ireland as a host destination for students. It was also a useful platform to highlight The Gathering Ireland 2013, Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture and the many other festivals and events taking place here this year.

Barbara Wood, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Spain, said: “We have been working hard to promote the island of Ireland as an ideal host destination for Spanish students wishing to improve their English. We know that Ireland appeals to the influential EFL specialists and students; as a dynamic and modern place with a high standard of education, it is well known for its rich culture and the warm welcome extended to visitors. Our presence at this year’s AULA was also a really good opportunity to raise awareness about the fantastic programme of events taking place in 2013, for The Gathering Ireland and Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture. Our message to Spanish students is that there has never been a better time to visit.”

The EFL sector is a valuable source of tourism business and Spain is the largest generator of EFL to the island of Ireland.

Megan Sweeney, Foyle International Language School, Londonderry; Shane McCann, Avanti Language Institute, Naas, Co Kildare; and Amy O’Donovan, Tourism Ireland, at the AULA educational fair in Madrid.


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, 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.


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