Tourism Ireland has been busy promoting Ireland to the Americas of late, attending events and inviting some key journalists to visit our shores.
First up was the 34th annual Milwaukee Irish Fest – the largest celebration of Irish culture and heritage in the United States. With a huge audience of some 150,000 visitors, the four-day festival was the ideal opportunity for Tourism Ireland to showcase the island of Ireland as a superb choice for a holiday. A delegation of 23 tourism enterprises from around the island of Ireland attended this year’s Fest.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: "Tourism Ireland’s presence at this year’s Milwaukee Irish Fest provided an excellent platform to showcase the island of Ireland and the diversity of our heritage and culture, and to build on the very positive ‘Gathering’ legacy – inviting some of the many people of Irish descent living and working in the US, as well as those with Irish connections or an affinity for Ireland, to come and visit the island of Ireland this year. "The United States is an extremely important tourism market for the island of Ireland and we believe that we are on course to achieve another record year from this market." Moving further up north, this week five Irish tourism companies joined Tourism Ireland in Toronto, for IncentiveWorks – Canada’s largest B2B show for the meetings, events and incentive travel industry – in a bid to grow the number of business travellers from Canada to the island of Ireland. The two-day event is an excellent opportunity to network and do business face-to-face with senior representatives of Canadian companies involved in organising international meetings and incentive events and to position Ireland as an easily accessible destination with top-class venues, facilities and accommodation options. The 70 per cent increase in airline seats between Canada and Ireland this summer has presented new and exciting opportunity to position the island of Ireland as a year-round destination for Canadian business and leisure travellers. Metcalfe said, "IncentiveWorks is another valuable platform for Tourism Ireland and our partners to showcase and sell Ireland and to build awareness of our world-class meetings, conference and incentive facilities."
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South America hasn't been forgotten, six leading Brazilian journalists from various travel and lifestyle newspapers, magazine and websites were in Ireland recently as guests of Tourism Ireland, to experience some of the many things to see and do on holiday here – and to hopefully inspire their readers to come and experience the destination for themselves.
The journalists’ itinerary included a visit to Kylemore Abbey, as well as a guided walk in the Connemara National Park. They flew to Inis Mór – where they enjoyed a bus tour of the island and a stop at Dún Aengus. They took in walking tour of Galway city, a tour of the Kilbeggan Distillery and visits to the Book of Kells and the Little Museum of Dublin. Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of journalists to Ireland, to experience some of the many things to see and do on holiday here. Inviting influential media to Ireland, to experience at first-hand what’s on offer is a key element of our publicity and PR programme; visits like this are a really effective way for us to spread the good news about the island of Ireland through the media in Brazil."
Picutred: Helen Cole, Tourism Ireland; Séan Carney, Lough Eske Castle; Mary Heron, Aer Lingus; John Healy, Moloney & Kelly Travel; Lynda Reilly, Guinness Storehouse; and Gerry Browne, Killarney Hotels, at IncentiveWorks 2014 in Toronto.