Tourism Ireland warmly welcomes the arrival today of the inaugural American Airlines flight from New York’s JFK Airport to Dublin. The new, year-round service will provide a welcome boost for both business and leisure tourism from the all-important American market to Ireland.
Working closely with airlines is a key priority for Tourism Ireland and the organisation has put in place a busy programme of marketing activity – in conjunction with American Airlines – to help drive demand for this new route in New York and the tri-state, to ensure the success of the service.
This summer will see a significant increase – almost 27% – in the number of airline seats between the US and Ireland for the peak season, making it easier and more affordable than ever before for Americans to get to the island of Ireland. Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s CEO, said: “We are delighted that American Airlines has chosen to operate this new service from New York to Dublin. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. Tourism Ireland is committed to working with American Airlines, Dublin Airport and other tourism interests to drive demand for this new service, and all other services to the island of Ireland, and to help maintain our vital network of routes and services.
Niall Gibbons continued: “The United States is a tremendously important tourism market. The most recent figures from the CSO showed a very positive start to 2013, with an increase in visitor numbers from North America of +16% for the period February to April. This is an exciting year for tourism, with The Gathering having very much caught the imagination of American travellers – particularly those with Irish heritage. We believe that we are on course to achieve our best year ever from this market; in 2013, we hope to welcome over one million American visitors, spending about US$1 billion.”
Captain Tom Farrell, American Airlines; Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America; and Mike McKanna, American Airlines managing director JFK, in the cockpit of the American Airlines aircraft in advance of the inaugural flight from JFK to Dublin.
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.