Representatives of Sligo County Council, who are in New York for the St Patrick’s Day period, met with senior executives from Tourism Ireland in New York today. They were briefed on Tourism Ireland’s extensive promotional programme for 2015, which is in full swing right now.
Tourism Ireland aims to build on the success of 2014, which was the best year ever for tourism from the United States, with visitor numbers increasing by +13% over 2013 – 134,000 additional American visitors during the year. Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “Our ambition for 2015 is to grow visitor numbers from the US by a further +6% and we look forward to working closely with our valuable industry partners, in both the US and Ireland, to achieve that target. The outlook for 2015 is very positive, particularly given that the number of airline seats from the United States to Ireland is set to grow by +14% in the peak summer season months, making it that much easier to get to the island of Ireland from 11 gateways across the US.”
Over the coming week, Tourism Ireland will participate in, and promote the island of Ireland at, a range of St Patrick’s Day activities across the United States. For the first time ever, the Grand Ole Opry (the show that made country music famous!), the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and the Parthenon, all in Nashville, will join Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative to celebrate St Patrick and Ireland. The High Roller (the world’s tallest observation wheel) in Las Vegas, the Fitzpatrick Manhattan and Grand Central hotels, City Hall in Houston, the Seattle Great Wheel, as well as other major landmarks like the world-famous Niagara Falls (on both the Canadian and US sides) are also set to be illuminated in green.
And Chicago will be going all out to celebrate St Patrick and Ireland once again this year, with numerous buildings and sites across the city ‘seeing green’ – including the Art Institute of Chicago, Navy Pier, the John Hancock Center, the United Center (home to the Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago Bulls), the Wrigley Building, Trump International Hotel & Tower, Block Thirty Seven shopping mall, Old St Patrick’s Church and Macy’s department store.
Other St Patrick’s promotions in the US include Tourism Ireland’s sponsorship of the first ever Irish Festival and parade in Nashville. Tourism Ireland teamed up with Kerrygold to launch the Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food & Wine in New York, at an event attended by leading epicurean and lifestyle media. Other culinary promotions will involve ‘ambassador’ chefs like Catherine Fulvio, Clodagh McKenna and Darina Allen, who will be in the US around St Patrick’s Day helping to promote our world-class cuisine through a series of media interviews. And Tourism Ireland will also sponsor Kevin Dundon’s series, Modern Irish Food
, which airs on Create TV (a digital public TV network in the US), as well as Neven Maguire’s Home Chef
Joe Queenan, chairman of Sligo County Council; Orla Carey, Tourism Ireland; and Dorothy Clarke, director of Services, Sligo County Council.
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 www.Ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, Ireland.com attracted about 14.25 million visitors.