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20 Mar 2014

‘Growing’ Canadian tourists to the island of Ireland

 Tourism Ireland, together with several tourism enterprises from the island of Ireland, is mounting a major presence at this year’s Canada Blooms show in Toronto – Canada’s largest indoor flower and horticultural exhibition – to target the growing number of Canadians interested in visiting gardens in Ireland.

Canada Blooms is a hugely popular exhibition – attracting more than 200,000 visitors each year – providing an ideal opportunity to showcase the island of Ireland and the unique mix of gardens to be found here. This year, the centrepiece of the Tourism Ireland stand is a special garden exhibit called the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’. Modelled on Ireland’s newest visitor experience, the space features an Irish cottage, three dolmen stones, a castle ruin, as well as five ‘sheep boulders’ – designed to bring the rugged and unspoiled beauty of the west of Ireland to life for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians visiting the ten-day show. The special garden scooped the W.E. Bridgeman Award for ‘best use of hard landscaping elements’ at this year’s Canada Blooms.

Jayne Shackleford, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Canada, said: “Given that Canada Blooms is such a popular show, it is a really effective platform for Tourism Ireland, and our partners, to convey our message about our superb gardens, as well as the many other wonderful things to see and do on vacation on the island of Ireland. The theme of this year’s Canada Blooms is ‘Wild’ – which fits perfectly with our focus on the Wild Atlantic Way. Canada Blooms is the perfect opportunity for Canadians to discover more about this exceptional coastal route and begin planning their vacation to come and see it for themselves.

With a significant (+70%) increase in airlines seats between Canada and Ireland this summer, there is now a new opportunity to position the island of Ireland as a year-round destination for Canadian holiaymakers. Jayne Shackleford continued: “With a significant increase in airline seats between Canada and Ireland this summer, Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of promotions happening right throughout 2014; our message is that it has never been easier for Canadians to get to the island of Ireland. We promise our visitors an experience that will be unique, full of engagement and great fun.”


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.