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12 Feb 2016

Fishing for French tourists

Specialist Irish fishing and tourism businesses travelled to the north-western French city of Nantes this week, to join Tourism Ireland and Inland Fisheries Ireland for this year’s Salon Européen Des Pêches (European angling fair).

The three-day fair attracts around 18,000 visitors every year, including French travel agents and tour operators who specialise in angling holidays, as well as thousands of French fishing enthusiasts looking for ideas and suggestions for their next fishing break or holiday destination.

Elmagh Killeen, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Southern Europe, said: “2015 was the best year ever for French visitor numbers to Ireland, with official CSO figures showing an increase of +11% – an additional 49,000 visitors over 2014. Tourism Ireland will roll out an extensive programme of promotional activity once again in 2016. Fishing is very popular here in France and is just one of the activities we are promoting, highlighting Ireland as a fantastic fishing and holiday destination.”

France is one of the top four markets for tourism to the island of Ireland and 2015 was the third record-breaking year in a row for French visitors to Ireland. In fact, last year we welcomed more than half a million French visitors for the first time ever.

  Max Couque, Galway Fishing; Rosendo Castellanos, Tourism Ireland; David Byrne, Inland Fisheries Ireland; Emilie Dain and Geoffray Begard, both Ireland Fishing Trips Ltd, at the Ireland Salon Européen Des Pêches in Nantes.

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 more than 16.6 million visitors in 2015.