Tourism organisations from around the island of Ireland travelled to France to join Tourism Ireland for ‘Mahana Toulouse’, a regional holiday promotion which attracts over 21,000 people each year.
Visitors to the show included French travel writers, tour operators and travel agents, as well as many thousands of holidaymakers living in and around Toulouse, looking for ideas and suggestions for their next short break or holiday destination. The three-day event provided a valuable opportunity for the participating Irish companies to showcase their product and to communicate what is unique about the island of Ireland as a holiday destination. ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’, and the many festivals and events taking place here this year, was a major focus on the Tourism Ireland stand at this year’s Mahana Toulouse.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Southern Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland in France has a busy programme of promotional activity planned for 2013, to capitalise on the strong interest here in the island of Ireland and to grow French visitor numbers. Our presence at Mahana Toulouse was an excellent opportunity to spread the word about all the great things to see and do in Ireland and, in particular, to raise awareness about the exciting programme of events taking place here this year as part of ‘The Gathering Ireland’. Working with our industry partners, we are highlighting the distinctiveness of a holiday in Ireland, including the great value available and the ease of access from this part of France – with direct Aer Lingus flights from Toulouse to Dublin. Our message for French holidaymakers is that there has never been a better time to visit.”
Mainland Europe – in particular France and Germany – is an increasingly important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and in 2013 Tourism Ireland aims to welcome almost 2.5 million European visitors.
Pauline Credon, Yannick Baras, and Stephanie Rouviere, all Gaeland Ashling (French tour operator); Marc Faivre, Tourism Ireland; Sylvia Pinel, the French Minister for Trade and Tourism; Serge Fonseca, Tourism Ireland; Rosemary Atangana, B&B Ireland; Crawford Rankin, Portrush Sea Tours; and Michael Langan, Irish musician, at Mahana in Toulouse.
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 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.