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23 Jan 2015

GMac swings into action for tourism

Tourism Ireland ‘tees up’ Irish Open in Florida

Golf and tourism operators from the island of Ireland attending this week’s PGA Golf Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, were delighted when golfing hero Graeme McDowell stopped off at the Ireland stand, to lend his support for Tourism Ireland’s 2015 promotional drive and to do his bit to help grow golf tourism to Ireland this year.

The PGA Show in Orlando is one of the biggest golf exhibitions in the United States, attracting more than 40,000 golf professionals and enthusiasts, as well as around 1,000 influential golf journalists, each year – providing a fantastic platform to highlight our world-class golf. There are 20 golf and tourism partners on the Ireland stand at this year’s show.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “We were delighted that Graeme McDowell took the time to drop by our stand at the PGA Show in Orlando. The American golf market remains a priority for Tourism Ireland in 2015 and we will continue to promote the island of Ireland as a top golf destination, capitalising on the global success of our golfers including Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington. We will also take every opportunity to highlight this year’s Irish Open at Royal County Down.

“Golf is the world’s largest sports-related travel market and Tourism Ireland is working hard to drive home the message that a golfing holiday in Ireland is about much more than a round of 18 holes – the combination of our world-class golf and our unique brand of hospitality plays a key role in attracting American golfers to visit.”

Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of activity under way to promote golf on the island of Ireland in the United States this year – in particular highlighting the 2015 Irish Open at Royal County Down over the coming months. Tourism Ireland’s new 60-second TV ad – with footage of Royal County Down and referencing the 2015 Irish Open – will air on the Golf Channel, and online on, around the ‘majors’, kicking off with the Masters in April; and a new print ad will appear in key golf publications. Tourism Ireland will invite influential American and Canadian golf writers to visit in advance of the Irish Open. Our world-class golf and the Irish Open were also highlighted to influential golf journalists and golf pros earlier this week – at a Tourism Ireland Golf Day, at Streamsong Golf Resort in Florida. Email marketing will reach more than 350,000 American golfers in February; and social media activity will also encourage American golfers to come and attend the Irish Open and then stay on to play some of our great courses.

Tourism Ireland will also promote golf on the island of Ireland at various other high profile golf events during 2015, including the PGA Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Texas, in May, and the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Massachusetts, in September.

  Graeme McDowell (centre) at the PGA Golf Merchandise Show in Orlando, with Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland (centre, left), and golf tourism partners.

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 2014, we 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.