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14 Mar 2018

Minister Katherine Zappone presents award to leading Italian travel writer

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone is in Italy this week, as part of a ‘Promote Ireland’ programme around St Patrick’s Day. The minister’s busy schedule included an event in Milan – organised by Tourism Ireland to recognise the travel editor of Il Giornale, a major daily Italian newspaper. Minister Zappone presented travel editor Stefano Passaquindic with a piece of Irish crystal to recognise his contribution to Irish tourism.

Stefano is a great supporter of Ireland and a highly regarded figure in Italian media circles. He has written extensively about the many things to see and do right around the island of Ireland for Italian holidaymakers. In 2017 alone, he published five different articles about Ireland. In addition, he selected Dublin as the autumn 2017 destination for the newspaper’s readers’ tours.

2017 was the best year ever for tourism from Italy to Ireland, when we welcomed around 363,300 Italian visitors, up +5.5% on 2016. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that success continues and the organisation has an extensive programme of promotions under way in Italy in 2018. Working with the media and influential travel writers like Stefano Passaquindic is a key element of that programme.

  Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland; Minister Katherine Zappone; and Stefano Passaquindic, travel editor of Il Giornale.

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.