Minister of State for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Tom Hayes TD, was in Norway last week, as part of a ‘Promote Ireland’ programme around St Patrick's Day – helping to promote tourism to Ireland in 2014.
Minister Hayes’ visit coincided with Tourism Ireland’s COS roadshow in Oslo – a three-city trade mission which took in all three Scandinavian capitals of Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm. During his visit, Minister Hayes met with influential Norwegian tour operators and travel agents, highlighting the many things to see and do for Norwegian holidaymakers in Ireland.
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 Scandinavia, the ‘greened’ sites included the iconic Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, the Holmenkolmen ski jump in Oslo and the beautiful ICEconcert Hall in Luleå in Swedish Lapland.
Aileen Hickey, Tourism Ireland’s manager in the Nordic region, said: “We are delighted that Minister Hayes was with us in Norway for the important St Patrick’s period, to help us deliver the message about the many great reasons to visit Ireland this year. Visitor numbers from the Nordic region grew by about +10% in 2013. Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of promotions under way in 2014, to keep the momentum going and build on that growth.
“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 includes co-operative activity with key partners, including Aer Lingus e.g. a print and online campaign is under way in Sweden this spring – to highlight, and drive demand for, the Aer Lingus Stockholm to Dublin flight. The organision is also working with some of the main Scandinavian online travel agencies, like Travellink and eTRAVELi, promoting good value holidays and weekend breaks in Ireland. Tourism Ireland also operates a busy, year-round programme of PR and publicity in the Nordic region, which includes press trips to Ireland for key travel and lifestyle journalists, as well as the distribution of regular e-newsletters and press releases.
Aileen Hickey, Tourism Ireland; HE Angela O’Farrell, Irish Ambassador to Norway; Lynn Cahill, Waterford Museum of Treasures; Tom Hayes TD, Minister of State for Agriculture, Food and the Marine; and Finola O’Mahony, Tourism Ireland, in Oslo during Tourism Ireland’s COS roadshow.
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.