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25 Jan 2013

Ireland listed in ‘top five’ great value destinations for American holidaymakers

Leading online travel company names Ireland and The Gathering Ireland in its ‘top five deal destinations’ for 2013

One of the world’s top online travel companies, Travelzoo, has included Ireland in its ‘top five deal destinations’ for 2013.

With a massive 25 million subscribers in North America, Mainland Europe and elsewhere around the world, Travelzoo is a hugely popular website, publishing lots of special offers and travel deals every week. The ‘top five’ list was compiled by ‘deal experts’ in Travelzoo – particularly with American holidaymakers in mind – who narrowed down the world to their five favourite destinations for 2013. Here’s what they had to say: “Our deal experts have narrowed down the world to five favourite destinations where we anticipate a strong collection of “wow” deals based on recent trends, industry projections and buzz. In no particular order, they are: New Zealand, Ireland, Niagara Falls, Colombia and Alaska. So dust off that passport (or parka) – and start exploring.”

Last year, Travelzoo’s senior editor Gabe Saglie visited Ireland, as a guest of Tourism Ireland in New York. He really enjoyed his time here and was particularly impressed by the exciting plans for The Gathering Ireland 2013.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This listing in Travelzoo’s top five deal destinations for 2013 is really good news, providing Tourism Ireland with yet another opportunity to promote the island of Ireland and The Gathering Ireland as a ‘must do’ for 2013 and we plan to exploit the accolade to best effect in our promotions in the US.

“The United States is our second most important tourist-generating market and 2013 could be a record year – when we hope to welcome over one million Americans spending about US$1 billion. The Gathering Ireland presents an unprecedented opportunity for Tourism Ireland to shine a spotlight on Ireland in the US this year. Since last autumn, it is being used as a ‘hook’ in all of our promotions, to make Ireland a ‘must visit’ destination, for both the Diaspora and non-Diaspora around the US.”

Tourism Ireland’s ambition is to grow the number of American visitors to the island of Ireland by +20% between 2013 and 2015 and to also win a greater share for Ireland of all travel by Americans to Europe. A critical factor which will underpin this growth is the significant increase – almost 27% – in the number of airline seats between the US and the island of Ireland this summer.

Building on the ‘Gathering’ promotional activity which kicked off in autumn 2012, Tourism Ireland in the US has a busy programme of co-operative campaigns under way in the first half of 2013; ads with airlines like US Airways, Americans Airlines and United are carrying a strong ‘Gathering’ message. A 30-second ‘Gathering’ TV ad will air around the broadcast of the third series of the popular Downton Abbey – reaching about 500,000 households each week in the key cities of New York, Boston and Chicago; and ‘Gathering’ print ads will run in publications like the Irish Echo and Food and Wine magazine this spring. Tourism Ireland is also targeting the influential American travel trade – 20,000 travel agent subscribers of Travel Weekly magazine across the US have received a ‘Gathering’ email, to enthuse them about all that is happening here in 2013 and encourage their clients to put Ireland on their vacation list for 2013.