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13 Sep 2019

Ireland says ‘bonjour’ in Lyon

~ Tourism Ireland launches Taste the Island in France ~

Fourteen (14) Irish tourism companies travelled to Lyon this week – to take part in a B2B workshop and networking event, organised by Tourism Ireland. They met with around 100 local travel agents, to inform and educate them about the island of Ireland and, in particular, our lesser-known attractions and hidden gems.
This is the third in a series of four Tourism Ireland workshops taking place this year in French cities which have direct flight to Ireland all year round. The aim is to highlight ease of access from France to Ireland to the influential travel agents; and to deliver more business to Ireland’s regions in the off-peak season. The final workshop of 2019 will take place next month in Nice; previous workshops this year have taken place in Toulouse and Bordeaux.
Lyon is often referred to as the gastronomic capital of France – so, Tourism Ireland took the opportunity to launch Taste the Island in France, at the workshop. Partners from Ireland included the Irish Whiskey Museum, Slane Distillery and Builín Blasta café and bakery in Spiddal. Taste the Island is an exciting new all-island initiative, developed by Fáilte Ireland in conjunction with Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI, involving more than 500 food and drink-related experiences over 59 days.
“Our workshop and networking event was a really good opportunity to meet, and do business with, travel agents in Lyon – ensuring that Ireland is ‘top of mind’ for them when they’re recommending and booking holidays for their clients, particularly in the shoulder and off-season months,” said Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Southern Europe. “It was also an excellent opportunity for us to launch Taste the Island in the gastronomic capital of France – highlighting this exciting new initiative and our superb culinary experiences.”
France is one of the top four markets for tourism to the island of Ireland.
Monica MacLaverty continued: “In 2018, we welcomed 546,700 French visitors to the island of Ireland. We are undertaking an extensive and targeted programme of promotional activity in France again this year – to build on that success and, in particular, to encourage more French holidaymakers to explore our regions and less-visited attractions, during the shoulder and off-season months.”
Olivia Duff, Headfort Arms Hotel and Discover Boyne Valley; Heather Flaherty, Builín Blasta café and bakery, Spiddal; tour guide Mick Langan; Louise Egan, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum; Martina Canty, Patrick J Hartnett and Tracey Coughlan, all Fáilte Ireland; and Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland, at the B2B workshop in Lyon.

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 almost 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland (+5% on 2017), delivering revenue of approximately €5.86 billion (+5%).
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 20+ million visitors in 2018.