Tourism industry leaders explore opportunities for tourism to the island of Ireland in 2015 and beyond
More than 60 influential players from the world of tourism and travel are gathering in Dublin today, to attend a one-day tourism summit organised by Tourism Ireland.
The high-level summit brings together key industry representatives from around the island of Ireland, and from around the world, to discuss and explore areas of opportunity and the key themes for future growth in overseas tourism to Ireland, in 2015 and beyond.
Overseas tourism is one of Ireland’s largest indigenous industries; it accounts for almost 60% of all tourism revenue and benefits communities right across the island. In 2013, overseas tourists contributed almost €4 billion to the economies north and south, +12% on 2012. And, visitor numbers to the Republic of Ireland are up +9% for the first four months of 2013. Tourism Ireland has set ambitious targets for the 2014-16 period, which will see the island of Ireland welcome some 8.9 million visitors per year by 2016, representing growth of +12% over 2013.
Today’s summit includes presentations and panel discussions – exploring ideas and listening closely to the views of key overseas tourism operators in relation to their own markets, the opportunities and challenges they see for travel and tourism to the island of Ireland in 2015 and beyond, and the best ways to harvest that potential.
Speaking in advance of the summit, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “In 2013, we welcomed 8 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland and saw record visitor numbers from markets like North America, Germany, France, Spain and Australia. We are determined to ensure the success continues. We are delighted so many of our key partners are participating in our summit today, generously sharing their knowledge and expertise, so we can build on the growth we saw in 2013. I would like to say a heart-felt thanks to our partners; we truly appreciate their commitment and the invaluable job they do for tourism to the island of Ireland. We look forward to continuing to work closely with them, to achieve even great success in the coming years.”
Attendees at the summit were welcomed to Ireland by President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin and by Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar. They include representatives of major tour operators like Sceptre Tours and Sense of Place (United States), Shearings and Albatross Group (Britain), DERTOUR and TUI Wolters (Germany) and Vacances Transat (France) – as well as representatives of Fáilte Ireland, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Aer Lingus, Irish Ferries, B&B Ireland, the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC), the Irish Hotels Federations, the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Incoming Tour Operators Association, Irish Caravan & Camping Council, Coach Tourism and Transport Council of Ireland, airports around the island and major visitor attractions.
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, an estimated 8 million overseas visitors visited 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, which appears in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.