The 34th annual Milwaukee Irish Fest – the largest celebration of Irish culture and heritage in the United States – took place in Wisconsin over the weekend. With a huge audience of some 150,000 visitors, the four-day festival was the ideal opportunity for Tourism Ireland to showcase the island of Ireland as a superb choice for a holiday.
A delegation of 23 tourism enterprises from around the island of Ireland also attended this year’s Milwaukee Irish Fest – all highlighting the many things to see and do here for American holidaymakers.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “Tourism Ireland’s presence at this year’s Milwaukee Irish Fest provided an excellent platform to showcase the island of Ireland and the diversity of our heritage and culture, and to build on the very positive ‘Gathering’ legacy – inviting some of the many people of Irish descent living and working in the US, as well as those with Irish connections or an affinity for Ireland, to come and visit the island of Ireland this year. It also offered us an opportunity to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route, as well as the exciting programme of events taking place throughout 2014 – including Limerick City of Culture and, of course, the Croke Park Classic, when the University of Central Florida takes on Penn State in their college football season opener next week.
“The United States is an extremely important tourism market for the island of Ireland and we believe that we are on course to achieve another record year from this market. The most recent figures from the CSO showed a very positive start to 2014, with the strongest first-half performance ever from North America.”
Phyl Foley, Leitrim Tourism; Joseph Dolan, Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon; and Sinéad McDermott, Leitrim Tourism, at this year’s Milwaukee Irish Fest in Wisconsin.
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 almost €4 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.