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28 Jan 2015

Ireland says ‘bonjour’ in Lyon

B2B workshop targets French tourists for the island of Ireland

A number of tourism companies from the island of Ireland and France travelled to Lyon this week, to meet and do business with 25 French travel agents and tour operators based in Lyon and the Rhône-Alpes region. The event was organised by Tourism Ireland, in conjunction with Lyon Airport, to highlight ease of access between Lyon and Ireland, with the direct Aer Lingus service to Dublin, and to grow tourist numbers from this part of France.

Involving a B2B workshop, as well as a presentation on Ireland by the Irish Ambassador to France, HE Geraldine Byrne-Nason, the event provided a valuable opportunity for the participating tourism businesses to showcase and sell their product and to communicate what is unique about the island of Ireland as a holiday destination. The Honorary Consul of Ireland in Lyon, Bruno Boccard, was also in attendance.

As well as emphasising ease of access, the event was also an excellent opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route, as well as some of the key events taking place across the island this year. Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s manager for southern Europe, said: “We are delighted that so many of the influential travel agents and tour operators in this part of France took the time to come and meet with our tourism partners, to hear about our wonderful tourism offering and the many things to see and do on a holiday on the island of Ireland. 2014 was the best year ever for French visitors to Ireland and we will be pulling out all the stops this year, to keep the momentum going and build on that growth.”

2014 was a record year for Irish tourism from France – with visitor numbers increasing by +5% over 2013. Tourism Ireland in Paris is rolling out a busy programme of promotional activity this year, to keep the momentum going and ensure that success continues. Promoting the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route will continue to be a major focus of Tourism Ireland’s activity in France and elsewhere around the globe in 2015; the organisation will also showcase the new Dublin Discovery Trail. This year marks 150 years since the birth of world-renowned Irish poet and Nobel laureate, WB Yeats; Tourism Ireland will promote Yeats 2015 – particularly to its ‘culturally curious’ audience. Tourism Ireland will also highlight ID2015, a showcase of the best of Irish design, raising the profile of Irish design and designers and showing how they reflect our unique culture, helping to give us ‘stand-out’ on the world stage.

  Florence Plantier, Lyon Airport (in front); Monica Ramchandani, Aer Lingus; Mylène Campalto, Abbey Tours ; Anaïs Leboeuf, Quartier Libre (French tour operator); Gillian Beare, Finn Lough Resort, Enniskillen; Mairéad O’Reilly and Grégoire Hermann, both Tourism Ireland; Elisa Souchard, Atlas Travel Solutions; and Gilles Fourgeron; Premier Travel, at the B2B workshop in Lyon.

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.