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03 Feb 2016

Exploring the potential of luxury and retail tourism for the island of Ireland

Twenty (20) Irish tourism businesses came together at the Westbury Hotel in Dublin today, for a networking event organised by Tourism Ireland. The event – which was also attended by the Irish Ambassador to China, Paul Kanavagh – explored Ireland’s potential to attract more high net worth travellers from across the globe and how to increase retail travel.

The demand for luxury travel has been growing in recent years, with wealthy travellers increasingly seeking great, individual experiences. A report published at the end of 2015 by International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) in association with Euromonitor predicts an increase in international luxury travel, given growing outbound travel from emerging markets and aspirational middle-class consumers. And, Ireland should be well positioned to take advantage of this trend; according to the annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey by Condé Nast Traveler magazine in 2015, nine of the top 30 resorts in Europe are in Ireland – including places like Trump International Hotel & Golf Links, Ashford Castle, Powerscourt Hotel and Sheen Falls Lodge.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “We were pleased to have the opportunity to discuss how Irish tourism businesses can grow their share of the global retail and luxury travel industry. We have a superb luxury tourism offering right around the island of Ireland – from our boutique hotels, castles, luxury resorts and spas, to our rich culture and heritage, and not forgetting our world-class golf. Our aim is to attract more high spending travellers and ultimately generate more revenue for our tourism partners and the Irish economy.”

  Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; HE Paul Kavanagh, Irish Ambassador to China; and Andrew Marshall, Kildare Village, at a networking event organised by Tourism Ireland to discuss luxury and retail travel.

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 220,000 people.
  • In 2015, we welcomed approximately 9.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.7 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which attracted about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.