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10 Mar 2016

Ireland is “blooming” in Philadelphia

Sowing the seeds for tourism success at world’s largest indoor flower exhibition

Tourism Ireland, together with tourism companies from around the island of Ireland, is mounting a major presence at this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show, to target the growing number of Americans interested in visiting our gardens.

The Philadelphia Flower Show is the world’s largest indoor flower and horticultural exhibition, attracting about 265,000 visitors each year – and an ideal platform to showcase Ireland and the wonderful mix of unique gardens to be found here. This year, the centrepiece of the Tourism Ireland stand is a special garden exhibit featuring Newgrange and highlighting Ireland’s Ancient East.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to play a major role at the Philadelphia Flower Show once again this year, bringing the unique nature of our gardens, and of a vacation on the island of Ireland, to the attention of thousands of visitors to the show.  

“2015 was the third record-breaking year in a row for visitor numbers to Ireland from North America. Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotional activity again this year – to keep the momentum going and build on that growth. Our ambition for 2016 is to grow visitor numbers from the United States by a further +7% and we look forward to working closely with our valuable industry partners, in both the US and Ireland, to achieve that target.”

Millions of people across the United States are seeing Tourism Ireland’s ads and holiday features this spring. The organisation’s St Patrick’s promotions include sponsorship of the live coverage of the New York St Patrick’s Day parade on the NBC network, which will feature seven short films with footage from around the island of Ireland – and will be seen by an estimated two million viewers. Tourism Ireland is also sponsoring the Music City Irish Festival in Nashville. Golf and business tourism promotions, e-marketing and social media activity, consumer shows like the Philadelphia Flower Show, as well as a series of sales blitzes across the US and Canada, are keeping the island of Ireland front of mind for potential travellers.

  Michelle Maguire, Ireland’s Blue Book; Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland; and Jenny De Saulles, Fáilte Ireland, at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

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 2015, we welcomed more than 9.3 million overseas visitors to 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.