There “really isn’t a better time to visit” Ireland, according to the country’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, with the country hosting a series of events and festivals next year designed to draw in travellers and bring the dispersed Irish home.
As part of The Gathering campaign, which is set to launch with a big New Year’s Eve festival in Dublin, Minister Leo Varadkar told e-Travel Blackboard, the packed events calendar will make Ireland “very exciting” throughout 2013 and push people thinking of visiting to do so next year.
Targeting an additional 325,000 visitors; the Minister said the public had thus far responded positively to the new initiative, organising and securing up to 1,000 Gathering dates across the country – from sporting events and big musicals to festivals on a local and regional level as well as personal things such as family reunions and alumni gatherings.
So far appealing to people from mainland Europe, Germany and France, the project is also pegged to add an extra 45,000 Australians and New Zealanders to the 150,000 already visiting Ireland every year.
“It’s a celebration of our culture and music, our sports, food and everything really,” Mr Varadkar explained.
“It starts on New Year’s Eve in Dublin but we’ve had a taste in 2012.”
According to the Minister, an event already drawing travellers in is the St Patricks Day parade in Dublin, which has already had 2,000 people of 8,000, secure spots to take part in the event.
Minister Varadkar is in Australia this week to promote the campaign, as well as meet trade at The Gathering Ireland Roadshow, which commenced in Sydney on 13 November before heading to Brisbane on 15 November and Perth on 19 November.
Tourism Ireland Australia and New Zealand manager Diane Butler also told e-Travel Blackboard, the tourist bureau had received positive feedback from Sydney agents thus far.
Click back onto e-Travel Blackboard tomorrow for more news from Ireland.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J