Wexford tourism businesses at national gathering
Tourism operators from across Wexford attended the recent Tourism Ireland 2017.
Representatives from Monart Spa, the Ferrycarrig Hotel and Good Food Ireland attended the launch and heard details of Tourism Ireland's marketing plans to promote Ireland overseas in 2017.
2016 is set to be the best year ever for Irish tourism, surpassing all previous records; by year end, 10.5 million people will have visited the island of Ireland.
For 2017, Tourism Ireland aims to build on this year's performance, in terms of visitor numbers and to grow overseas tourism revenue by 4.5 per cent in 2017 i.e. €5.7 billion to the economies north and south next year.
A new ad highlighting the lure of Ireland was also unveiled at the Tourism Ireland launch. The ad will air from January 2017 in 23 markets around the world - including on national television across the United States and in cinemas in Britain.
Niall Gibbons of Tourism Ireland said: 'We are heading into 2017 in a position of some strength, based on the success of 2016. Tourism Ireland will create 'stand out' for the island of Ireland around the world next year, highlighting iconic experiences like the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland's Ancient East, Titanic Belfast and the Causeway Coastal Route. We will also promote Dublin, in particular for shoulder and off-peak travel. Screen tourism will remain a priority, as we continue to capitalise on our connections with Star Wars and Game of Thrones.
'In early 2017, we will unveil a new strategy to grow tourism from new and emerging markets. We will continue to highlight the recently-announced extension of the Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme, which helps us promote to new audiences. We are committed to making 2017 another strong year for Irish tourism.'
'2017 may present some challenges - not least Brexit, which is likely to impact on consumer confidence, which in turn may have consequences for travel to all destinations, including Ireland, from Britain.
As our nearest neighbour and our largest market for overseas tourism, Britain will remain a priority for us. The depreciation of sterling against the euro since the UK referendum on Brexit means that value for money will be a key message for us in Britain next year.'