This is Tourism Ireland’s corporate website. 
If you are looking for information about holidays on the island of Ireland, please visit

11 Nov 2014

Ireland scoops travel award in Italy

Ireland wins the prestigious Colombo 2000 prize in Rome

Ireland has been awarded the prestigious Colombo 2000 prize (Premio Colombo 2000) for tourism in Italy.

The accolade – awarded by the Euro-Afro-Asian Academy of Tourism, a prestigious international body for tourism, based in Rome – recognises countries who have distinguished themselves in tourism promotion, in terms of innovation, environmental sustainability and originality.

Four other countries also received a Colombo 2000 prize: Croatia, Nepal, Vietnam and Mozambique. Highlighting why Ireland was chosen to receive this prestigious award, the Euro-Afro-Asian Academy of Tourism said: “The Colombo International Prize 2000 goes to Ireland for its proven ability to attract an ever-increasing influx of tourists, both EU and non-EU. By successfully showcasing  its country and by creating ad-hoc routes across the country, such as the Wild Atlantic Way – one of the longest coastal roads in the world – Ireland has managed to make its natural product the protagonist of its campaigns and, in doing so, offers unique travel experiences.”

Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Italy, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Ireland has been singled out for this prestigious Colombo 2000 prize. Tourism Ireland has been working hard to build awareness of the island of Ireland as a premier holiday and business tourism destination – here in Italy and elsewhere around the world. We are constantly looking at innovative and engaging ways of reaching potential holidaymakers across the world, so we are particularly honoured to receive this award.”

The latest CSO figures for overseas visitors to Ireland are very strong, confirming growth of +9.3% in overseas visitors to Ireland for the January to September period – more than 500,000 additional visitors when compared with the same nine-month period in 2013. Visitor numbers from Italy are also very positive, up +10%.

The Colombo 2000 prize was established in 1989 – as part of the European Community, the Council of Europe and the Historical Exhibition of Tourism Manifesto of the Euro-Afro-Asian countries. It is an award dedicated to individuals and/or organisations who have distinguished themselves in the promotion of tourism in terms of innovation, environmental sustainability, the protection of its culture and traditions, and originality.

Sponsored by the European Parliament and by the Italian Government Tourist Board (ENIT), the Euro-Afro-Asian Academy of Tourism was established almost 50 years ago, with its activity now spanning some 126 countries worldwide. Its main activities include the dissemination of material, systems and theories around the science of tourism, communications and transport, particularly in its objective to increase research and studies in the field of tourism legislation.


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.