Targeting the growing number of Americans interested in visiting gardens, Tourism Ireland – together with partners – mounted a strong presence at this year’s Philadelphia International Flower Show. The world’s largest indoor flower and horticultural show, the Philadelphia International Flower Show attracts about 265,000 visitors each year – providing an excellent opportunity to convey our message about the wonderful gardens in Ireland to a large audience of potential US holidaymakers.
The Tourism Ireland exhibit at the show was called “Classic Ireland with a twist” – highlighting our rich horticultural heritage in a classic yet modern setting. Garden experts Trevor Edwards, from The Plantsman’s Garden Tours (based in Crawfordsburn, Co Down), and Maurice Parkinson, from Ballyrobert Cottage Garden (in Ballyclare, Co Antrim) travelled to Philadelphia to join Tourism Ireland in spreading the good news about our wonderful gardens. And, as part of the event, Tourism Ireland also commissioned chef Patrick McLarnon, of Brooks Hotel in Dublin, to come and share some of his culinary secrets during a day of Irish food demonstrations, helping to emphasise the high quality of food that visitors can enjoy when holidaying here.
Tourism Ireland in North America will have a strong presence at a wide range of travel, lifestyle and special interest fairs this year. Commenting on the busy promotional programme now in full swing in key cities and gateway areas, Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “North America is a critically important market for tourism to the island of Ireland, second only to GB in terms of visitor numbers. Visitors from North America stay longer, spend more than the average visitor and tour more extensively around the island. 2011 was one of the strongest years ever for tourism to Ireland from the United States and Tourism Ireland is aiming to make 2012 our best year ever! We are undertaking strong campaigns in the US, which are highlighting great value and urging consumers to ‘jump into Ireland’ and to include Ireland in their vacation plans for 2012. In our promotions, we promise potential visitors an experience that will be unique, full of engagement and great fun. With great access and attractive on-the-ground offers, we believe the island of Ireland is well positioned to deliver what an American holidaymaker wants.”