Tourism Ireland unveils 2016 initiatives at World Travel Market 

The launch at WTM of two exciting tourism initiatives is expected to entice even more visitors from Great Britain and beyond to the island of Ireland. The unveiling of Ireland’s Ancient East, and Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016, will spearhead Tourism Ireland’s visitor drive next year.

Tourism Ireland will also highlight ever-strengthening visitor numbers, which have continued to grow throughout 2015.  

January to August 2015 was the best ever period for overseas visitors to the island of Ireland. Almost 5.8 million recorded arrivals represent an increase of +12% compared to the same period in 2014 – an additional 633,500 overseas visitors. Of this total, 2.35 million arrivals were recorded from GB, the largest contributing market, representing growth of +11%, about 236,700 extra British visitors compared with the first eight months of 2014.  

Vanessa Markey, Head of Great Britain at Tourism Ireland, said:   “Following a hugely successful 2015 for the island of Ireland, we’re looking ahead to next year with the aim of attracting even more visitors. Ireland’s Ancient East, boasting historical sites even older than the pyramids of Egypt, will be a huge draw. And the yearlong celebration of food and drink in Northern Ireland will see it firmly cemented as one of Europe’s leading foodie destinations. With city breaks to destinations such as Belfast and Dublin remaining as popular as ever, we are looking forward to another fantastic year ahead.”  

2015 looks set to finish strongly with visitors continuing to enjoy the Wild Atlantic Way, the world’s longest coastal route that snakes along Ireland’s West coast.  The newly-restored Gobbins and the Giant’s Causeway, are favourite stopping-off points along Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route with both continuing to attract visitors. A diverse range of city breaks plus a host of festivals to suit everyone will also continue to draw visitors with Dublin’s New Years Festival set to provide a thrilling climax to 2015 and mark an exciting year to come.

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