Targeting French tourists for the island of Ireland
Eight tourism companies from Ireland travelled to Bordeaux, to meet and do business with more than 70 French travel agents based in Bordeaux and the Aquitaine region. The event was organised by Tourism Ireland, in conjunction with Bordeaux Airport, to highlight ease of access between Bordeaux and the island of Ireland – and to grow tourism business from the south west of France. Air links from Bordeaux include Aer Lingus to Dublin, easyJet to Belfast and Ryanair to Cork.
Involving a B2B workshop, presentations from Bordeaux Airport and the airlines in attendance, as well as a networking reception, the event provided an excellent platform for Tourism Ireland and the Irish companies to showcase and sell their product. As well as emphasising ease of access, the event was also an excellent opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route, as well as major events happening here this year – including the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia and Limerick City of Culture 2014.
Tourism Ireland recently unveiled a new strategy to grow visitor numbers from France and Germany over the coming three years. The plan, ‘Germany and France – A Strategy for Growth’, sets out challenging and ambitious targets, which will see the number of French visitors to the island of Ireland grow to 512,000 (+17%) by 2016. Finola O’Mahony, Tourism Ireland’s head of Europe, said: “We are delighted that so many of the key travel agents and tour operators in this part of France have taken the time to meet with our Irish industry partners, to hear about our wonderful tourism offering and the many things to see and do on a holiday on the island of Ireland. 2013 was a record year for French visitors to Ireland and we are undertaking an extensive programme of promotions throughout 2014, to keep the momentum going and build on that growth. I am confident that our new focused strategy will deliver on the targets we have set for growth in French visitors, between now and 2016.”
Over 19 million potential French holidaymakers have seen advertising for Ireland this spring. Tourism Ireland’s TV ads – featuring the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route – have been airing around prime time programmes on popular channels like FR1, France2 and France3, as well as on a number of satellite channels. Working closely with airlines and the travel trade in France is a key priority for Tourism Ireland; co-operative campaigns with carriers, including Irish Ferries, Brittany Ferries, Aer Lingus, Ryanair and EasyJet, are promoting flights and ferry services to Ireland. And about 13 million French commuters are seeing a major outdoor campaign in Paris metro stations right now, highlighting the island of Ireland and great value offers in conjunction with Go Voyages (a French online travel agent).
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.