Tourism organisations from around the island of Ireland travelled to Madrid last week, to join Tourism Ireland for FITUR 2013, the most important annual travel fair in Spain.
FITUR (Feria Internacional de Turismo) is the largest trade and consumer travel show in Spain, attracting over 164,000 visitors last year, including leading travel media, tour operators, travel agents, EFL (English as a Foreign Language) providers and business tourism buyers, as well as about 100,000 Spanish holidaymakers looking for ideas and suggestions for their next short break or holiday destination. The five-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 FITUR.
Barbara Wood, Tourism Ireland Spain, said: “Tourism Ireland in Spain 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 Spanish visitor numbers. FITUR is our first major promotion of 2013, providing 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 throughout the year as part of ‘The Gathering Ireland’. Working with our industry partners, we are highlighting the distinctiveness of a holiday on the island of Ireland this year, the great value available and the ease of access from Spain. Our message for Spanish holidaymakers is that there has never been a better time to visit.”
Mainland Europe 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.
Billy Condon and Barbara Wood, both Tourism Ireland; HE Justin Harman, Irish Ambassador to Spain; Bernadette O’Carroll, Irish Welcome Tours; and Fallon Clifford, Killarney Hotels, on the Tourism Ireland stand at Fitur 2013.
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.