Irish tourism launches charm offensive on Britain

It's more expensive to visit Ireland post-Brexit vote, but there are positives to push...

Tourism Ireland, marketing, tourists, Star Wars, social media, Niall Gibbons

The Black Valley in Co Kerry | Image: RollingNews.ie

With Ireland now over 18% more expensive for the British tourist to visit since the Brexit referendum, Tourism Ireland is looking at – and shouting about – the positives of crossing the Irish Sea as part of the World Travel Market event in London today.

More than 70 Irish tourist businesses are in the British capital, seeking to drum up trade. They're being joined by Tourism Minister Patrick O'Donovan for the start of Ireland's promotional drive overseas for 2017.

Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, says promoting the ease of access to Ireland will be key:

"It's important that we stress the ease of getting to Ireland from the UK. Remember there's over eight airlines and three ferry operators, operating about 240,000 seats every single week during the summer months.

"We still see the air and sea access picture as being very, very positive. But it's important to stress as well that Ireland is a great destination from the perspective of taking a holiday and it's important that Ireland is at the forefront of the British consumer's mind."

Gibbons also noted that it's a level-playing field in terms of the Eurozone when it comes to luring Brits:

"In the last five months we've seen a depreciation of sterling against the euro of approximately 18%. It means that form a tourism perspective, the Eurozone as a whole – not just Ireland but all members of the Eurozone – are 18% more expensive to the British traveller.

"So value for money will be at the forefront of the message that Ireland will be delivering been to the market today."

Despite concerns, recent CSO data showed that trips here by British residents rose by 9.3% to 1,148,500 between July and September of this year. Irish tourism is currently on track for its best-ever year.