Minister Donohoe travels to Boston to promote Ireland overseas

25th September, 2014

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, will today (Thursday) travel to Boston to attend Tourism Ireland’s Jump in to Ireland (JITI) sales event and the iFest festival of contemporary Irish culture. Minister Donohoe will be accompanied by the Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland (TI), Niall Gibbons, and TI’s Head of North America, Alison Metcalfe.


The purpose of the trip is to target US travel agents; speak to influential members of the travel/lifestyle media and key tourism decision makers; and to promote Ireland as year-round destination for American visitors.


“Tourism Ireland’s Jump in to Ireland sales event, which is taking place in Chicago and Boston this week, targets hundreds of travel agents in both cities. It showcases the regions of Ireland and provides an excellent opportunity for the Irish tourism enterprises, who are travelling to the US, to network, build relationships and promote their product there.  With roughly 100 travel agents and as many as 45 US journalists expected at JITI in Boston, the potential to sell Ireland, and to reach into the homes of tens of millions of Americans, is unparalleled.


“Tourism has long been recognised by this Government as a key driver of economic growth, and the US market is an instrumental player in the Irish tourism market. 2013 was our best year to date for tourism from the United States – when we welcomed almost 1 million American visitors who spent US$1 billion. And 2014 looks set to be another record year as growth rates of +11% for the January to July period are recorded by the CSO. However, there is no room for complacency. We must continue to encourage Americans to put Ireland on their vacation ‘wish list’. We can do this by promoting initiatives like the Wild Atlantic Way that high potential to deliver significant growth and revenue in the coming years.


“I will also be attending a festival of contemporary Irish culture, entertainment and culinary innovation; iFest, while in Boston. This new, three-day festival will showcase the very best of what we have to offer at home; the elements that entices people to our shores.


“The United States is one of the top four markets for Irish tourism. Continuing to promote ourselves in the US through advertising, extensive digital and social media marketing, trade and consumer fairs, and by targeting of the markets with the highest potential for growth, we will be successful in growing the numbers in the months and years ahead.


“With approximately 35,000 one-way seats departing from ten US gateways cities weekly, getting to Ireland from the US has never been easier. We have been through a difficult time at home but things are improving. Tourism has a big part to play in that continued recovery and Ireland has a good story to tell.  We must continue to promote ourselves overseas to the best of our ability and ensure that we are putting our best foot forward in encouraging the rest of world to pay us a visit.”


Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s CEO, said: ‘The United States is one of the most important markets for tourism to the island of Ireland. 2014 is set to be another record year for tourism from North America, with growth of +11% already recorded for the first seven months of this year. Tourism Ireland is working hard to keep that momentum going throughout 2014. Our ‘Jump into Ireland’ sales blitz to Chicago and Boston and our sponsorship of the travel showcase at iFest in Boston provide excellent platforms to spread the word about the many great things to see and do in Ireland. We are spreading the word about the many great experiences that American holidaymakers can enjoy in Ireland, including our newest visitor experience, the Wild Atlantic Way’.