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07 Mar 2012

Minister Michael Ring kicks off major drive to attract more German tourists for 2012

World’s largest travel fair kicks off today in Berlin

The largest travel fair in the world kicks off today in Berlin. Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD joins Tourism Ireland and tourism enterprises from across the island of Ireland at ITB, in a bid to grow our share of the German tourism market – the world’s largest outbound travel market.

Now in its 46th year, ITB in Berlin is the largest travel show in the world, attracting about 170,000 visitors (including almost 110,000 influential trade visitors) and almost 11,000 exhibitors. Visitors to the five-day show include leading travel media, tour operators and travel agents, not just from Germany but from all over the world, as well as many thousands of potential holidaymakers looking for ideas and suggestions for their next short break or holiday destination. This year, 22 tourism enterprises from the island of Ireland – including hotels, B&B Ireland, visitor attractions, regional tourism organisations, ferry companies, incoming tour operators and activity providers – are exhibiting at the Tourism Ireland stand, which provides an invaluable platform for the participating companies to network, negotiate and exchange vital contracts with influential German tour operators and travel agents.  

With almost 200 countries all competing for business at ITB this week, Tourism Ireland aims to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the influential global media and travel trade in attendance. Speaking in Berlin at ITB, Minister Michael Ring said: “I am delighted to be in Berlin, showing the Government's support for the Irish tourism trade and to help Tourism Ireland attract more visitors from this lucrative market. There were over 400,000 visitors from Germany in 2011 – a welcome increase of 12 per cent on the previous year. Our objective is to build on that performance, to help deliver more revenue and employment growth in the tourism sector, as part of the Government's economic renewal programme.”

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The large representation of our industry partners on the Tourism Ireland stand at ITB this year is extremely welcome and essential in the highly competitive global marketplace. Germany is a priority market for Tourism Ireland. Over half the German population takes at least one holiday abroad each year, making Germany the world’s largest outbound travel market. Germany is the third-largest source of visitors to the island of Ireland and Tourism Ireland is rolling out an exceptionally strong promotional programme in Germany this year, to raise the profile of Ireland as a wonderful destination and emphasising a strong value message. Those Germans interested in taking a holiday which involves sightseeing and local culture remain our core target; Tourism Ireland is also targeting consumers who engage in outdoor activities while on holidays.”

Over 11 million potential German holidaymakers are seeing Tourism Ireland’s new ‘Jump into Ireland’ TV ads this spring, on prime time TV across seven national stations. The campaign also includes radio advertising in German cities with direct flights to Ireland, reaching 8 million listeners, as well as online and cinema advertising. And on St Patrick’s Day next week – for the first time ever – Tourism Ireland has arranged for the iconic Fernsehturn (television tower) in Berlin and the “Lighthouse” in Düsseldorf to ‘go green’ on St Patrick’s Day, to grab the attention of and bring a smile to the faces of potential German visitors in both cities.

Notes To Editors


  • Abbey Tours
  • B&B Ireland
  • Ballyhoura Fáilte Limerick
  • Carlton Hotel Group
  • CIE Tours International
  • Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience
  • Dublin Tourism
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • IHF South East
  • Ireland's Shannon Region
  • Irish Ferries
  • Irish Hotels Federation
  • Irish Welcome Tours
  • Joe O'Reilly Ireland Group
  • Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel
  • Killarney Hotels Ltd
  • PREM Group Hotels
  • Select Hotels of Ireland
  • Silver Line Cruisers, Banagher, Co Offally
  • Tifco Hotels Ireland
  • Titanic Belfast
  • White Hotel Group/Irish & English Tours, Ballyshannon