Tourism Ireland, together with various tourism enterprises from the island of Ireland, is mounting a major presence at this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show, to target the growing number of Americans interested in visiting gardens in Ireland.
The Philadelphia Flower Show is the world’s largest indoor flower and horticultural exhibition, attracting about 265,000 visitors each year – and an ideal platform to showcase Ireland and the wonderful mix of unique gardens to be found here. This year, the centrepiece of the Tourism Ireland stand is a special garden exhibit called ‘The Wild Atlantic Way’. Modelled on Ireland’s newest visitor experience, the space features a replica of the Poulnabrone dolmen and has been designed to bring the wild landscape of our western seaboard to life for the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the show.
Tourism Ireland is also highlighting our world-class food in Philadelphia this week, through culinary ambassador David Corbett, head chef of the Absolute Hotel in Limerick, who is doing cookery demos over three days at the show.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to have a significant presence at the Philadelphia Flower Show once again this year – which provides a wonderful opportunity to spread the word about the unique nature of our gardens, and of a vacation on the island of Ireland, to the thousands of visitors to the show.
“2013 was the strongest year ever for visitors to Ireland from North America – even surpassing the previous best year of 2007. We are undertaking a really strong programme of promotions right throughout 2014, to keep the momentum going and build on that growth. We are placing a major focus on highlighting the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route. We are also promoting key events, including Limerick City of Culture, the ‘Grande Partenza’ of the Giro d’Italia and the Croke Park Classic in September, which will see the University of Central Florida take on Penn State in their college football season opener. With direct flights from Philadelphia and great value offers available from our travel partners, our message for Americans is there has never been a better time to make that trip.”
Millions of people across the United States are seeing Tourism Ireland’s ads and holiday features this spring. The organisation’s St Patrick’s promotions include sponsorship of the live coverage of the New York St Patrick’s Day parade on the NBC network, which will feature 30-second Ireland ads and footage of Ireland – and will be seen by an estimated two million viewers. Golf and business tourism promotions, e-marketing and social media activity, consumer shows like the Philadelphia Flower Show, as well as a series of sales blitzes across the US and Canada, will keep the island of Ireland front of mind for potential travellers. In addition, positive publicity worth close to €100 million will be generated by Tourism Ireland in the United States this year.
Ellen McNulty, Lynott Tours; Theresa McVeigh, Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism; Geoffrey Brown, B&B Ireland; Maria Cunningham, Clare Tourism Forum; Orla Meenan, Tourism Ireland; John Horgan , Shannon Heritage; and (back, l-r) Kate McAloon, National Trust Fermanagh; Suzanne Meade, Meyrick Hotel; Hillarie McGuinness, Tourism Ireland; and Jackie Brown, B&B Ireland.
Further media information:
Brian Swift, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01-476 3425
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.