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15 Mar 2018

Ireland says ‘bonjour’ in Paris

The island of Ireland was showcased to around 150 top French travel journalists, tour operators, travel agents and airline representatives – at Tourism Ireland’s annual St Patrick’s event in Paris, which took place yesterday (14 March). Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD, and Irish Ambassador to France, Patricia O'Brien, attended the event.

With representatives from Cork Airport, Irish Ferries and Aer Lingus also in attendance, the event was an excellent opportunity to highlight exciting new developments on the access front for 2018 between France and Ireland – which include the new daily Air France flight from Paris to Cork; the extra Brittany Ferries sailing between Roscoff and Cork each week; and the new Irish Ferries cruise ferry, the WB Yeats, which will mean double the current number of sailings from France to Ireland, with daily departures in alternate directions.

“We are delighted that so many influential journalists, tour operators, travel agents and airline representatives took the time to come and hear about the many things to see and do on a holiday in Ireland, as well as the exciting new developments in both air and sea access for 2018,” said Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Southern Europe. “2017 was the best year ever for Irish tourism from France, when we welcomed almost 550,000 French visitors. We are rolling out an extensive programme of promotional activity once again in 2018, to build on the success of the past few years and continue to grow French visitor numbers.”

France is one of the top four markets for tourism to the island of Ireland and 2017 was the fifth record-breaking year in a row for French visitors to Ireland. Tourism Ireland in France is undertaking a targeted programme of promotions once again, throughout 2018. The organisation continues to leverage its strength in digital and social media, with around 202,000 French Facebook fans (4.1 million worldwide) and more than 35,000 followers on Twitter. Tourism Ireland is also ramping up its publicity programme in France – placing increased focus on digital channels and working more closely with online media, including bloggers. Top French tour operators and travel agents, as well as business tourism buyers, will be targeted through sales blitzes, workshops, familiarisation visits to Ireland and a major presence at IFTM (International French Travel Market) in Paris.
  Finola O'Mahony, Tourism Ireland; Joan O’Shaughnessy, Chairman of Tourism Ireland; Minister Regina Doherty; HE Patricia O’Brien, Ambassador of Ireland to France; and Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland, at Tourism Ireland’s annual St Patrick’s event in Paris.

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.

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