Tourism Ireland marked the official launch of a brand new strategy at World Travel Market which aims to increase the number of visitors from Great Britain to Ireland in 2010.

The tourism office said that on the back of one of the most difficult years for tourism to the island of Ireland, tourism enterprises from across the island North and South joined forces with Tourism Ireland this week, heralding the start of the promotional drive for the 2010 season.


Speaking at the World Travel Market, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, explained that the new campaign will target both the leisure and business tourism communities, which have suffered due to the economic climate, and fluctuating currencies.

Gibbons said that the new strategy: “sums up our determination but also illustrates and showcases to the British travel market and the British traveller how Ireland is a serious destination for leisure, short breaks or business leisure.”

The campaign will see Tourism Ireland forging closer links with group organisers, coach operators, wholesalers and specialists through a series of workshops and events, as well as strengthening its relationship with the trade through the Best of Britain and Ireland Travel Trade Forum in March 2010.

The organisation will also increase awareness of Ireland in Great Britain through greater engagement with the public.

Gibbons said: “we intend to make Saint Patrick’s Day the biggest consumer event of the first quarter of 2010. By using this event to promote Irish culture and the island of Ireland we will create a desire to visit Ireland and experience Irish culture first hand.”

In response to the growing challenges that the MICE market is facing, Tourism Ireland plans to make Ireland a clear choice for buyers seeking high quality and good value venues.

Gibbons said: “Ireland is in a unique position to meet the predicament organisations and companies will find themselves in over the next three or four years – that of supplying their staff with conferences, events, seminars and incentives in an ex-UK destination that offers a high quality infrastructure of resorts, amenities, conference centres and golf and relaxation venues.”

Gibbons discussed the new assets and infrastructure that will be opening up over the next two years, including the new Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport, which will greatly improve passenger comfort, as well as new conference venues including Dublin’s Aviva Stadium and the Convention Centre Dublin, allowing the city to cater for larger numbers of delegates, as well as improved leisure facilities with the opening of the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre and the new Titantic Centenary in Belfast.

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