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06 Apr 2017

‘Ich liebe Irland’ – Taoiseach lends a hand to promote Ireland in Germany

Record 650,000 Germans visited Ireland in 2016 – 63% growth since 2010

Germany is Ireland’s 3rd most important tourism market

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is visiting Germany this week, to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Today (6 April), he took the time to support Tourism Ireland’s promotional efforts, when he met some of the leading German tour operators who programme and sell holidays to Ireland.

With a holiday allowance of up to 30 days per year being the norm, holiday-taking is important for Germans and over half the population takes at least one holiday outside Germany each year, making it one of the largest outbound travel markets in the world. Germany is the third-largest source of visitors for Ireland and our most important non-English-speaking market. Travel to Ireland has grown significantly in the last six years, increasing from 399,000 German visitors in 2010 to a record 650,000 visitors in 2016 – an increase of +63% since 2010. The German market is worth almost €400 million annually to our economy and Irish tourism.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “2016 was the best year ever for German visitor numbers to Ireland, with 650,000 German visitors contributing almost €400 million to the Irish economy. Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotional activity once again throughout 2017. We continue to work closely with our tourism partners – at home and in Germany – to build on the growth of the past few years.”

Tourism Ireland has set its sights on continued growth for 2017 and is rolling out a busy programme of promotions throughout the year. The programme kicked off with a nationwide TV campaign this spring, when ads for Ireland were seen by almost 16 million people across Germany. Activity also includes extensive e-marketing and social media, as well as trade and consumer promotion with Irish tourism partners; and, almost 200 influential German travel and lifestyle journalists have been invited to visit Ireland in 2017, to write or broadcast about their experiences here.

As well as Tourism Ireland’s marketing efforts, factors working in our favour include strong air connectivity, with 25,000 seats per week now available from German airports to the island of Ireland during the summer months; and, interest in visiting Ireland remains high among German travellers, who are seeking to discover the ‘real’ Ireland. Our coastline is a particular motivator for German holidaymakers; they like our unspoiled natural scenery, walking and exploring new sites.

  Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Frankfurt with (from left) Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; Brian O’Grady, Highlander Reisen; Judith Eichhorn, Service Reisen Giessen; and Seán Buckley, Marina Tours.

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 2016, we welcomed approximately 10.5 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.4 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted a record 18 million visitors in 2016.