500,000 Germans to read all about the Wild Atlantic Way
Four leading German journalists are visiting Mayo and Galway this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Germanwings (a German airline owned by Lufthansa). They flew in to Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK) over the weekend, on the inaugural Germanwings flight from Cologne-Bonn.
Representing a variety of online and print publications, the journalists will experience our newest visitor experience, the Wild Atlantic Way – and then write about it on their return home, inspiring their readers to come and discover it for themselves. Their action-packed itinerary – prepared by Fáilte Ireland – has included visits to Belleek Castle in Ballina and the Céide Fields. They enjoyed sea-kayaking near Belmullet and a walk along the Mullet Peninsula. They have also experienced the Greenway-to-Seaway cycle and boat trip to Westport, as well as a guided walk in Connemara along the old famine walk to Delphi Lodge.
Tourism Ireland recently unveiled a new strategy to grow visitor numbers from Germany and France over the coming three years. The plan, ‘Germany and France – A Strategy for Growth’, sets out challenging and ambitious targets, which will see the number of German visitors to the island of Ireland grow to 581,000 (+22%) by 2016. Zoë Redmond, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Central Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of influential journalists to the west of Ireland to experience some of the Wild Atlantic Way. Seeing is believing – so fact-finding visits like this are an extremely important element of our publicity and PR programme in Germany; they are a really effective way for us to get positive exposure for Ireland through the media, helping us to showcase the many things to see and do along the Wild Atlantic Way to hundreds of thousands of potential German holidaymakers. 2013 was a record year for German visitors to Ireland and we are undertaking an extensive programme of promotions throughout 2014, to keep the momentum going and build on that growth.”
Germanwings will operate direct flights to and from Cologne-Bonn every Saturday between now and the end of October and Tourism Ireland will be taking every opportunity to highlight the new route. Zoë Redmond continued: “The introduction of this new Germanwings service is wonderful news and will expand travel options for German holidaymakers wishing to visit the West of Ireland in 2014. We look forward to working closely with Germanwings and Ireland West Airport Knock to maximise the promotion of this new route and to help drive demand for the flights.”
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 approximately €3.64 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, currently rolling out in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.