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27 Feb 2014

From Russia with love!

Tourism Ireland targets Russian tourists on trade mission

Tourism Ireland, together with two Irish tour operators, travelled to Moscow this week to take part in a travel trade mission, in a bid to grow Ireland’s share of this emerging tourism market.

The three-day trade mission – organised by VisitBritain – included meetings and networking with some of the top travel agents and tour operators from the main cities and regions of Russia, as well as other Russian-speaking CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries like Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. It offered an excellent opportunity to showcase Ireland to the influential Russian buyers and encourage them to introduce the island of Ireland to their programmes for 2014, or to extend the programmes in which Ireland already features.

Tourism Ireland research has shown that the Russian market has limited understanding of what the island of Ireland has to offer as a holiday destination; so, one of the main objectives of the trade mission was to continue to build awareness in Russia of the many things to see and do on a holiday here.

Tourism Ireland believes the Russian market could play an important part in helping to grow overseas tourism to the island of Ireland in the coming years; the organisation has representation in Russia for the first time ever in 2014. Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of developing markets, said: “Outbound travel from Russia is growing fast, with almost 36 million visits outside of Russia taken each year. The majority of our overseas visitors come from the core tourism markets of Great Britain, North America and Mainland Europe and, while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the longer-term opportunities presented by Russia and the other BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries. Trade missions like this help foster relations with key travel trade, who can help us achieve our goal of generating growth from this market of potential.

“Research shows that some of the main motivators for Russians when choosing a holiday include ‘natural scenic beauty’ and ‘history and culture’; these are two areas for which the island of Ireland is renowned. Tourism Ireland will focus on highlighting tourism experiences like the Wild Atlantic Way – showcasing the spectacular scenery and unique culture of the west coast – to prospective Russian visitors in 2014. We believe this exciting new tourism experience will have tremendous appeal in the Russian market.”


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.
  • By the end of 2014, we will have welcomed an estimated 8.6 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.26 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.