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30 Jan 2019

Tourism Ireland sets its sights on another record year for Irish tourism from North America – +8% increase in revenue from 2.17 million visitors in 2019

~ Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin launches Tourism Ireland’s 2019 marketing plans in New York ~

Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin launched the 2019 marketing plans for Tourism Ireland in the United States yesterday (Tuesday, 29 January) – at an event in New York attended by leading tour operators, travel agents and journalists from the tri-State area. 

Tourism Ireland aims to surpass the record-breaking performance of 2018 and to grow revenue from North American visitors by +8% in 2019 i.e. €1.99 billion generated by 2.17 million visitors (+6%). 

Tourism Ireland’s new TV ad – ‘Fill Your Heart With Ireland’ – is now running on major American TV networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, in Chicago, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Denver, Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco and Hartford. With new flights to Dublin from Minneapolis-St Paul (with Aer Lingus) and from Dallas (with American Airlines) due to launch this year, Tourism Ireland is targeting travellers in both cities for the first time. The ads are also running on popular digital and social channels.

Tourism Ireland will prioritise North America once again in 2019, as a market which offers a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure. 

Speaking at the launch in New York, Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America and Australia, said: “In 2018, we welcomed a record 2 million North American visitors to the island of Ireland. Looking to the year ahead, we are confident that our strategy – combined with more airline seats than ever before from the US, a strong dollar, as well as the strength and competitiveness of the vacation experience right around the island of Ireland – will deliver further growth. We look forward to welcoming more of our great friends from the United States this year and in the years to come.

“We have a very clear focus for the year ahead and that is to deliver a +6% increase in visitor numbers and +8% increase in revenue from North America. We will achieve this by working in close collaboration with our Irish and American tourism partners, rolling out an extensive programme of high impact campaigns and promotions which will target those consumers with greatest potential to travel to Ireland.”

In 2018, we welcomed around 2 million American and Canadian visitors to the island of Ireland (up +14% on 2017), delivering revenue of €1.85 billion for the economy (+14% on 2017).  

  Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin; Twila Fortner, Delta Vacations; and Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland, at the New York launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2019 marketing plans.

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 around 325,000 people across the island.
  • In 2018, we welcomed around 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland (+6% on 2017), delivering revenue of approximately €6.1 billion (+10%).
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 20 million visitors in 2018.