Minister Donohoe and Tourism Ireland in Berlin to target further growth from key German market

4th March, 2015

Focus on building on last year’s record 500,000+ Germans who visited Ireland last year at world’s biggest tourism trade fair


The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe T.D. today (Wednesday) joins Tourism Ireland and a number of tourism enterprises from Ireland at ITB 2015 in Berlin, to support the drive for further growth in Irish tourism from the key German market.


ITB is the largest tourism trade fair in the world. It attracts some 170,000 visitors each year, from 189 countries. Of these, about 110,000 are trade visitors, including leading tour operators, travel agents, airlines, and travel media, not just from Germany but from all over the world.


This year, some 20 Irish tourism enterprises, including hotels, visitor attractions, ferry companies, coach companies, incoming tour operators, destination groups, and activity providers, are exhibiting at the Tourism Ireland stand. Over the next four days, they will engage in numerous meetings with German and international tour operators as they negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2015 and beyond.


The latest CSO figures for overseas visitors to Ireland for November 2014 to January 2015 are very strong, confirming growth of +9.1% in overseas visitors to Ireland compared to the same period in 2013-2014.  This continues the strong growth trend seen in 2014, when visit numbers increased by almost 9% for the year.


Germany is the third-largest source of visitors to Ireland, and is our most important non-English speaking market in terms of visitors, holidaymakers and revenue.  CSO data shows that for 2014 a record 538,000 Germans visited Ireland last year, an increase of +15% on 2013.  Germany is the world’s third largest outbound travel market with a total spend of €82 billion a year.


Government initiatives, including the reduction of the air travel tax to zero, which has helped increase key air routes to Ireland, as well as the retention of VAT on tourism services at 9%, which is helping to make Ireland more competitive in terms of value for money, have played a significant role in helping grow visitor numbers.


Minister Donohoe said: ‘I am very pleased to support Tourism Ireland and their tourism industry partners at ITB 2015.  This is the biggest tourism trade fair in the world and Germany is a very important market for Irish tourism.  The Government believes strongly in the importance of tourism as a vehicle for Irish economic recovery, and we are committed to supporting the tourism industry’s efforts to increase Ireland’s export earnings from overseas tourism. I also am pleased to see Aer Lingus, Cork and Dublin Airports and the Shannon Group here today, as well as Irish Ferries, as access is vital for growing tourism. Indeed tourism has a key role in the future of Ireland’s airports and ports’.


“In the coming weeks we will launch a new Tourism Policy Statement that will set the framework for further growth in tourism over the next decade.  Our key goals are, by 2025, to raise overseas tourism revenue from €3bn to €5bn, to attract ten million overseas visits to Ireland compared to 7.6 million in 2014, and to grow employment in tourism from 200,000 to 250,000.  Continued strong performance in the German market will be a key contributor towards achieving these goals.”





Notes for Editors:

Confirmed Ireland Partners at the Tourism Ireland stand 2015:


Abbey Tours

Aer Lingus

Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience

Guinness Storehouse

Irish Ferries

Irish Greyhound Board

Irish Welcome Tours

Killarney Hotels Ltd

Loop Head Tourism

Select Hotels of Ireland

Shannon Group plc

Silver Line Cruisers

The Castle Collection

The Strandwood Hotel Group

Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre

White Hotels/Irish & English Tours


Northern Ireland Partners at the stand:

Causeway Coast

Titanic Belfast



German Partners at the standon the weekend:

Gaeltacht Reisen

Highländer Reisen