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04 Jun 2015

Tourism Ireland welcomes Aer Lingus College Football Classic

Welcoming today’s announcement that the Aer Lingus College Football Classic will take place in Dublin in September 2016, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The Boston College v Georgia Tech game at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium in September 2016 will provide a further, very welcome boost for tourism from the United States next year, with up to 25,000 people expected to travel here from the US and Europe. It will undoubtedly be another wonderful college football event for Dublin, bringing wider benefits to the island as a whole.

“Tourism Ireland in the US is working closely with Anthony Travel, the official travel company for both colleges, and other travel partners, to maximise the tourism benefits of the game. From today, we will undertake a programme of co-operative promotions, to help ensure the game is a sell-out – highlighting travel packages, including lots of great suggestions for golf, city tours and longer-stay holidays, to thousands of supporters, alumni associations, family and friends. Sports-related tourism has emerged as a very significant element of the global travel business in recent years and the Aer Lingus College Football Classic will be another wonderful opportunity to showcase Dublin and Ireland, and more generally the many attractions that the island of Ireland offers as a holiday destination.”

The United States is one of the most important markets for tourism to the island of Ireland and 2014 was a record year for American visitors to Ireland – when we welcomed more than one million US visitors, spending over US$1 billion. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that tourism growth continues; and 2015 has got off to a positive start, with the most recent CSO figures showing growth of +20% in visitor numbers from North America for the February to April period.


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. In 2014, attracted about 14.25 million visitors.