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Tag Archives: tourism

Tourism targets should be revised upwards

The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) has called for the national targets for tourism to be revised upward, and for any new government to be more ambitious for an industry that now employs 224,000 people nationwide. The national strategy of the last government – People, Place & Policy – set a goal of overseas visitors spending €5 billion by 2025 but in ITIC’s view this is too modest. Tourism’s strong recent growth has meant that overseas earnings from tourism have risen already to €4.2 billion per annum, a figure that puts the national targets over the next 10 years into sharp perspective. Paul Gallagher, ITIC’s chairman, commented,“CSO figures show us that international tourists now spend €4.2 billion per annum while staying in Ireland; the idea that as a country we should be aiming to hit only €5 billion by 2025 is simply not an appropriately stretching target. With less than 2% aggregate annual growth we would reach the stated national …

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Chasing tourism opportunities in Dublin

Clare tourism businesses were in Dublin this week to attend the high-profile Meitheal, Fáilte Ireland’s largest trade fair. Organised by Fáilte Ireland, in conjunction with its sister agency Tourism Ireland this year’s event brought over 310 overseas buyers into the country to meet with 455 Irish tourism businesses. Last year’s Meitheal event resulted in over 2,650 new business contracts being signed, including almost 900 contracts with international operators who had never programmed Ireland before. At this year’s event, there were up to 40 tour operators in attendance who have not previously had Ireland on their books – predominantly from China, India, the Gulf States and South Africa. Speaking at Meitheal, Fáilte Ireland’s CEO, Shaun Quinn, said, “By bringing both overseas and Irish operators together eyeball to eyeball, we managed to generate deals and contracts which will ensure significant additional tourism activity next year – including in County Clare”. “Whether at the trade fair, or through our tailored trips around the country, for the overseas attendees, Ireland certainly impressed our overseas guests and …

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Good signs for 2016 tourism

CSO figures published today (Wednesday) show a significant increase in overseas visitors to Ireland between December 2015 and February 2016. Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said, “Today’s figures represent a very positive start to 2016 – confirming that, for the first time ever, we welcomed more than one million visitors in the first two months of the year. In the period December 2015 and February 2016, almost a quarter of a million additional visitors (+17%) came to Ireland, when compared with the same three-month period last year.” Growth was recorded from all markets around the world – including Britain (+21%), North America (+13%), Mainland Europe (over +14%) and from Australia and developing markets (almost +9%). “Our focus now is on surpassing last year’s success, to ensure that 2016 is another record-breaking year for overseas tourism. We remain conscious of recent tragic events in Brussels and elsewhere and the potential impact on travel; we continue to monitor the situation,” Mr …

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A chance to sink teeth into Stoker tourism

Businesses in Clare could benefit from the county’s links to a book by Bram Stoker, a great-grandnephew of the Gothic novelist has said. Ivan Stoker Dixon pointed out that Bram Stoker “sourced and set” The Snake’s Pass, a precursor to Dracula published in 1890, in County Clare. Mr Stoker Dixon believes the county, especially the tourism industry, could capitalise on its links with the author, describing the current situation as a “lost opportunity”. “The potential [if properly managed] could render County Clare many rewards, such as a Bram Stoker Trail, with talks and storytelling sessions; insight and assistance to academic Irish studies, schools, drama and so on; also, horse-drawn car rides along the coast roads, as Bram Stoker did, soaking up the atmosphere for his novel,” he said. The London resident also points out that there is “a thriving twice-yearly Bram Stoker festival at Whitby, Yorkshire, which not only adds to their attractions but prolongs their season from early spring …

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Prince Charles takes a stroll through the famous Burren landscape this afternoon, with Dr Brendan Dunford, Burrenbeo project manager and Dr Sharon Parr, also of Burrenbeo. Photograph by John Kelly.

Showcasing the island of Ireland

Liverpool was the location for a major tourism business networking event this week, where there was a great opportunity to showcase Ireland. The visit of Prince Charles to the Burren last week gave North Clare an edge in noting it as a destination. More than 300 top international buyers from 40 different countries, including Australia, China, India, Japan, Brazil and Russia, were provided with a wealth of information about the island Ireland at ExploreGB 2016. As part of its ongoing partnership with VisitBritain, Tourism Ireland – together with 18 Irish tourism companies, including Doolin2Aran Ferries – took part in ExploreGB, VisitBritain’s flagship international event which took place in Liverpool. The two-day workshop involved a series of pre-scheduled, one-to-one appointments – showcasing Britain and the island of Ireland to an influential audience of international buyers and helping to deliver additional itineraries and brochure pages featuring both destinations. ExploreGB was also an ideal opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight the British-Irish Visa …

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Heritage Council offering grants

The Heritage Council has announced it will allocate €700,000 to projects under its 2016 Heritage Management Grant Scheme. The grants are aimed at supporting projects that apply good heritage practice to the management of places, collections or objects, including buildings. Grant applications must be submitted on the Heritage Council’s online application system before 5pm on Monday, March 7. Heritage Council chief executive, Michael Starrett said, “The past number of years has brought many challenges to those working hard to preserve and promote Ireland’s heritage and to highlight its significance to people and their places. In that context, the Heritage Council is delighted to be able to offer some financial assistance to community-based heritage projects. These local projects are very important in protecting our heritage, as well as creating jobs and promoting local tourism. “The Heritage Council is only in a position to make these grants because of additional financial support given by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, Heather …

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East meets West in The Banner County

Eleven Chinese tour operators visited Co Clare during the past week where they experienced first-hand some of the many things to see and do in The Banner County. They were guests of Tourism Ireland. They took the ferry from Tarbert to Killimer and continued to Kilkee, where they enjoyed lunch at The Strand Bistrot. Then it was on to the Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s manager Asia, said: “China is an important emerging travel market and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. Working with Chinese tour operators and travel agents is an important part of our annual promotional programme. “The aim of this week’s fact-finding visit is to increase awareness of Clare and Ireland among these influential travel professionals, to help secure a greater share of the 3+ million Chinese visitors who travel to Europe each year. Tourism Ireland aims to grow the number of Chinese visitors …

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Access and connectivity key

In a week dominated by aviation-related headlines, Shannon Chamber hosted a luncheon seminar where two key players in the tourism and travel sectors – Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland and Suzanne Boda, senior vice president Asia, Canada, Europe and Cargo, American Airlines – were guest speakers. The lunch, sponsored by American Airlines, was held in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Limerick and attended by representatives from the business, tourism and hospitality sectors. Chamber president Kevin Thompstone said in his introductory remarks that access and connectivity is the key to increasing visitor numbers to the West of Ireland. “With just over 5% of international traffic to Ireland, Shannon delivers 15% of the West’s, 37% of Shannon’s and 12% of the South-West’s overseas holidaymaker bed nights. This demonstrates the link between access to Shannon and tourism activity in Shannon and the surrounding regions. The West has the product and the amenities and is proactively creating awareness, through Tourism Ireland, in international …

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