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19 Feb 2018

Ireland says ‘Hola’ in Spain!

Tourism Ireland sets its sights on another record year for Irish tourism from Spain

Tourism Ireland in Spain unveiled its key themes for 2018, at an event in Madrid attended by around 50 top travel and lifestyle journalists – including representatives of Condé Nast Traveller, Elle and El País (national daily newspaper) – as well as social influencers and leading Spanish travel professionals. 

Tourism Ireland’s extensive programme of activity for 2018 in Spain will highlight experiences like the Wild Atlantic Way, the Causeway Coastal Route, Ireland’s Ancient East, Belfast and Dublin. Screen tourism will also remain a priority, as the organisation continues to capitalise on our connections with Star Wars and Game of Thrones. Other themes for the year will include Galway European Region of Gastronomy. Tourism Ireland in Spain will also work with Brittany Ferries to promote the new service from Santander to Cork.

2017 was another record-breaking year for Spanish visitors to Ireland. 

“In 2017, we welcomed around 443,000 Spanish visitors to Ireland, up more than +12% on 2016,” said Barbara Wood, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Spain. “Tourism Ireland will roll out an extensive programme of promotional activity once again in 2018. We are particularly excited about the opportunities the new direct Brittany Ferries route will bring to grow tourist numbers from northern Spain. We look forward to working closely with Brittany Ferries and all of our tourism partners – at home and in Spain – to keep the momentum going and build on the growth of the past few years.”

As well as the new Brittany Ferries services from Santander, it has never been easier to reach the island of Ireland by air from Spain, with over 80,000 seats available each week during the summer season. Tourism Ireland will also roll out co-operative campaigns with airlines that fly to the island of Ireland over the coming months.
  Barbara Wood and Finola O’Mahony, both Tourism Ireland; HE Síle Maguire, Irish Ambassador to Spain; José Antonio Muñoz, (travel website); and Alicia González Oliver, (online travel journal), at the launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2018 marketing plans in Madrid.

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 281,000 people across the island.
  • In 2017, we welcomed approximately 10.65 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.78 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 19.3 million visitors in 2017.