Irish tourism companies and genealogy experts joined Tourism Ireland for this year’s Who Do you Think You Are? Live show, last week in London. Who Do you Think You Are? Live is the largest family history and genealogy event in Britain, attracting about 12,000 visitors during the three-day show. With one in six British people claiming an Irish grandparent, the show was an excellent platform to encourage people in Britain to come and visit Ireland in 2014 and find out more about their Irish ancestry.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: “The year of the Gathering was a wonderful opportunity to connect with our diaspora around the globe and encourage people with Irish roots to come home and visit. Tourism Ireland believes that 2014 offers continued growth opportunities and will continue to target Ireland’s diaspora. Last year, we established an ‘Ireland Family History’ page on Facebook, to connect with those with Irish heritage. The fact that this page has gained more than 200,000 fans worldwide demonstrates the high level of interest in genealogy and this will remain a central focus in our marketing of Ireland in GB, and elsewhere around the world, in 2014 and beyond.”
Figures for 2013 from the CSO showed a welcome return to growth in British visitors of +5.6%. Tourism Ireland’s ‘GB Path to Growth’ strategy will see the number of British visitors to the island of Ireland increase by +20% i.e. an additional 200,000 holiday visitors per year by 2016. The organisation is targeting new audiences, including an older audience wishing to explore new places and broaden their minds (called ‘culturally curious’) and the younger, fun-loving set, who are looking for an exciting time in a vibrant destination (‘social energisers’).
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 www.ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.