Minister Leo Varadkar kicks off major drive to attract more German tourists for 2014 at world’s largest travel trade fair
The largest travel trade fair in the world, ITB in Berlin, kicks off today. Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar joins Tourism Ireland and 21 tourism companies from the island of Ireland at ITB today (Wednesday, 5 March), in a bid to grow Ireland’s share of the German travel market – the world’s second-largest outbound travel market.
Now in its 48th year, ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse) attracts some 170,000 visitors each year, from 189 countries across the world. Of these, about 110,000 are trade visitors – including leading tour operators, travel agents, airlines, travel media and bloggers – not just from Germany but from all over the world.
The five-day event will provide a valuable opportunity for the participating Irish tourism companies to network, negotiate and exchange vital contracts with the influential tour operators and travel agents in attendance. The Wild Atlantic Way, Causeway Coastal Route, Limerick City of Culture and the ‘Grande Partenza’ (or ‘Big Start’) of the Giro d’Italia are some of the major themes being highlighted by Tourism Ireland at this year’s ITB.
Minister Varadkar said: “It’s great to see so many representatives from the Irish tourism industry here today, all working to promote Ireland as a visitor destination. 2013 was a record year for German visitors to Ireland and we are running an extensive programme of promotional activity throughout 2014, to keep the momentum going and build on that growth. The Wild Atlantic Way is at the heart of this promotion and is getting a great response here in Germany.”
With so many destinations all competing for business at ITB, Tourism Ireland’s aim is to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the influential audience at the show. Speaking from ITB Berlin, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The large representation of our industry partners on the Tourism Ireland stand at ITB this year is extremely welcome – and essential in the highly competitive global marketplace. Germans who are interested in taking a holiday involving sightseeing and local culture remain our core audience; we are also targeting people who engage in outdoor activities while on holidays. We are placing a major focus on highlighting the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route. We are also promoting key events, particularly Limerick City of Culture and the ‘Grande Partenza’ of the Giro d’Italia.”
Over 14 million Germans will see advertising for Ireland this spring. Tourism Ireland’s TV campaign got under way in Germany earlier this year, on national channels like ARD, ZDF, Sat1 and RTL; and online ads have been running on popular news websites like Zeit.de, Süddeutsche.de and Speigel.de. Co-operative campaigns with Aer Lingus and Ryanair will promote flights to Ireland, including the new Aer Lingus Hannover to Dublin service and new Ryanair flights to Shannon, from Munich and Berlin. Outdoor (billboard) ads with Dertour, a leading German tour operator, have been running in the cities of Frankfurt-am-Main, Stuttgart, Hannover and Munich.
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.