Ireland was on the menu for foodies in Colorado recently – when Tourism Ireland had a presence for the first time ever at the annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen.
The FOOD & WINE Classic is a high-end lifestyle show, which was attended by about 5,000 people over three days – providing an excellent opportunity to showcase the island of Ireland and the superb culinary experience on offer here for American visitors.
The island of Ireland is becoming increasingly well-known for the superb quality of its food, with a reputation for natural products used in both traditional and innovative dishes; and the quality of our food is one of the key themes being promoted by Tourism Ireland in the United States this year. Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “Events like the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen provide an excellent platform to spread the word about the many great experiences that American holidaymakers can enjoy around the island of Ireland – and in particular the superb quality of our food, which is such vital component of the holiday experience nowadays. It also provided a really good opportunity for us to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route; and to raise awareness of the exciting programme of events taking place this year – including Limerick City of Culture and, of course, the Croke Park Classic, when the University of Central Florida takes on Penn State in their college football season opener in August.”
2013 was a record year for American visitors to the island of Ireland and Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotional activity under way throughout 2014 – to keep the momentum going and build on that growth. The most recent figures available from the CSO for 2014 (for the January-May period) show growth of +8% in visitors from North America to Ireland over the same three-month period last year.
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 almost €4 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.