Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food, Simon Coveney TD, was in Australia last week, as part of a ‘Promote Ireland’ programme around St Patrick's Day – helping to promote tourism to Ireland in 2014.
During his visit, Minister Coveney met with influential Australian tour operators and travel agents, highlighting the many things to see and do in Ireland for holidaymakers from ‘Down Under’. He also attended the ‘greening’ of the Sydney Opera House – part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
Tourism Ireland’s St Patrick’s 2014 programme spanned Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as emerging tourism markets like China, India, the Middle East and South Africa. More than 120 landmark buildings and iconic sites around the world went green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. In Australia, as well as the iconic Sydney Opera House, the ‘greened’ sites included the State Library of New South Wales, Hyde Park Barracks and the Pitt Street Mall (all in Sydney), as well as the Old Parliament House in Canberra and Council House in Perth.
Diane Butler, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Australia, said: “We are delighted that Minister Coveney was with us in Australia for the important St Patrick’s period, to help us deliver the message about the many great reasons to visit Ireland this year. 2013 was the best year ever for visitor numbers from Australia to Ireland, with double-digit growth recorded. Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of promotions under way in 2014, to keep the momentum going and build on that growth. Australia is an important market for tourism to the island of Ireland, with Australian visitors tending to stay longer than other holidaymakers and travelling throughout the regions.
“Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative was even bigger and better this year, with some famous additions like the Great Wall of China, the Treasury in the ancient city of Petra and Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland® Paris. Our aim was to bring a smile to the world and to convey the message that the island of Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as fantastic scenery and cultural activities.”
Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of promotions in Australia includes co-operative activity with key tour operators and airlines – including Trafalgar, Flight Centre, Insight Vacations, Emirates, Etihad Airways and British Airways. Tourism Ireland also operates a busy, year-round programme of PR and publicity in Australia, which includes press trips to Ireland for key travel and lifestyle journalists, as well as the distribution of regular e-newsletters and press releases. Online, social media and direct marketing activity are also important elements of the promotional programme.
Minister Simon Coveney (second right); Caitriona Ingoldsby, Consul General of Ireland, Sydney (left); Jim Paul and Diane Butler, both Tourism Ireland, in front of the Sydney Opera House which was illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
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 2013, we welcomed an estimated 8 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.64 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.