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31 May 2018

Promoting Cork in France, Spain and Italy

Tourism Ireland capitalises on new air and sea access to Cork

Tourism industry leaders from Cork and the South of Ireland attended a Tourism Ireland event in the Montenotte Hotel in Cork today (Wednesday, 30 May), where they heard about new opportunities to grow visitor numbers from France, Spain and Italy.

Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Southern Europe, said: “France, Spain and Italy are markets of significant potential for tourism to Cork and the South of Ireland. Collectively, they delivered more than 1.3 million visitors to Ireland in 2017 and have grown by +30% since 2014. Now, with over 5,000 airline seats and ferry capacity for 3,900 passengers each week – directly to Cork – the markets of Southern Europe offer great potential for further growth.”

There are over 5,000 airline seats and ferry capacity for 3,900 passengers – directly to Cork –available each week this summer. Working closely with airlines, ferry companies, airports and ferry ports to build demand for services is a key priority for Tourism Ireland. Throughout 2018, Tourism Ireland will undertake co-operative campaigns with all the sea and air carriers offering services to Cork. These include campaigns with:
  • Air France (to promote its new daily flight from Paris to Cork, which was launched yesterday, 29 May);
  • Aer Lingus (flights from Paris and Barcelona to Cork);
  • Iberia Express (flights from Madrid to Cork);
  • Ryanair (flights from Milan to Cork); and
  • Volotea (flights from Verona to Cork); and
  • Brittany Ferries (sailings from Roscoff and Santander to Cork). 
Monica MacLaverty continued: “Our message for holidaymakers in France, Spain and Italy is that it has never been easier to get to Cork. We are also highlighting Cork as an important gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East to ‘culturally curious’ travellers.”

Some interesting facts about the French, Spanish and Italian markets for Irish tourism:
  • 12% of all visitors to the island of Ireland come from France, Spain and Italy.
  • Visitors from all three countries account for almost 13 million bednights.
  • 38% of French holidaymakers are repeat visitors, staying 8.1 nights on average – so they like visiting Ireland!
  • More than 30% of all French visitors to Ireland come between April and June.
  • Almost 40% of Spanish visitors come during the off-season months i.e. Q1 and Q4.
  • 54% of all Italian visitors to Ireland are holidaymakers, who stay 6.3 nights on average.
Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland; Mary Houlihan, Fáilte Ireland; Neil Grant, Celtic Ross Hotel; Aaron Mansworth, Trigon Hotels; and Josephine O'Driscoll, Fáilte Ireland, at Tourism Ireland's industry briefing on the French, Spanish and Italian markets, at The Montenotte Hotel in Cork.

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.