Tourism Ireland warmly welcomes today’s announcement by Irish Ferries of a new ship, the Epsilon, which will operate on the Holyhead to Dublin route from next month. The new ship will provide two additional departures per day on this important Irish Sea route – helping to boost tourism business from the important British market.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s announcement is more good news for tourism to Ireland for 2014. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct access cannot be overstated – it is absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. We already work very closely with Irish Ferries and we look forward to co-operating with them to maximise the promotion of their services from Holyhead.
“The new sailings will help boost car touring holidays from GB; visitors who bring their car here on holidays tend to stay longer, spend more and are more likely to visit more than one region. And prospects for car touring holidays in 2014 are really good, with the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s first long-distance touring route, as well as the beautiful Causeway Coastal Route – providing additional reasons for overseas holidaymakers to visit.
Niall Gibbons continued: “Great Britain is the largest market for tourism to the island of Ireland, delivering almost 50% of all overseas visitors in 2012. And I am pleased to report a return in growth in visitor numbers from GB this year – up +3.5% for the January-September period, including +9% for the peak summer months (July-September). This year, Tourism Ireland has been rolling out the ambitious ‘GB – Path to Growth’ strategy, which is targeting several new audiences which have good potential for growth.”
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, 7.4 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 undertaken an extensive programme of promotions to highlight The Gathering Ireland 2013 around the world, working closely with the Gathering project team.