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11 May 2015

Middle East meets West!

Tourism Ireland and partners promote the island of Ireland at Arabian Travel Market 2015

Six tourism companies from the island of Ireland travelled to Dubai, to join Tourism Ireland at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) – in a bid to grow visitor numbers from the Middle East in 2015 and beyond.

ATM is the largest travel trade exhibition in the Middle East, attracting more than 23,500 visitors in 2014. Of these, around 18,000 were trade visitors – including leading tour operators, travel agents, business tourism buyers, airlines, travel media and bloggers – not just from the Gulf countries, but from all over the world.

Tourism Ireland is working hard to raise the profile of the island of Ireland in the Gulf countries, and in other emerging tourism markets, as a premier holiday and business tourism destination.  The Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland and its Game of Thrones connections, as well as Yeats150 and ID2015 (the year of Irish Design), were just some of the themes highlighted by Tourism Ireland at ATM.

Tourism Ireland was also emphasising ease of access from the Middle East to the island of Ireland – with double daily, direct flights to Dublin from Abu Dhabi, with Etihad Airways, and from Dubai, with Emirates. On 18 May, KLM will launch flights to Belfast via Amsterdam.

Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s manager Asia, said: “We were really pleased to exhibit at this year’s Arabian Travel Market – which provides another important platform for Tourism Ireland and our partners to showcase and sell the island of Ireland to influential travel professionals in the Middle East. 2014 was a record year for visitor numbers from Ireland’s long-haul markets – and 2015 has also got off to a positive start, with the most recent CSO figures showing growth of +12% in visitor numbers from our emerging markets for the first three months. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that this tourism growth continues.”

The Ireland stand at Arabian Travel Market 2015.

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.

Previous Press Release

08 May 2015

German and Swiss journalists cruise into town!