Skip to main content

Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations will be extra sweet this year with the island of Ireland enjoying an impressive post-COVID tourism boost.

In the first full year of trading since the pandemic, Ireland received €5.3 billion (approx.$AU8.75billion) in tourism revenue from overseas markets.

The figure was revealed by Sofia Hansson, Director, Tourism Ireland, Australia & New Zealand, at a Saint Patrick’s Day event in Sydney last night.

“So, tourism is a really important industry for us and particularly for the regional areas in Ireland,” said Ms Hansson.

“This market, in particular, is very important for those regions where Australians like to travel around the island and spend money as they go.”

Ms Hansson said the “Fill your heart with Ireland” campaign launched last year had been a massive success, with 1.3 billion impressions globally so far. It will continue into 2024.

“I also want to point out our vision for Tourism Ireland as a whole. As an organisation, and as we look ahead, it is very much about increasing the value of overseas tourism to the island of Ireland.
“And that also means sustainably supporting economies, communities and the environment.”

Ms Hansson added that going forward Tourism Ireland would be focusing on revenue growth, regional dispersion and promoting events and activities in the shoulder seasons.

Focusing on what might drive Aussies to visit Ireland, Ms Hansson highlighted the heritage, soft adventure, culture and culinary offerings available across the country.

“And then, of course, I can’t not mention Cillian Murphy’s Oscars win, which was really fantastic for us to see. It’s just a testament to the cultural wealth in Ireland and the talent that we have. So hopefully, there’s more of that to come.”

Those attending the event included travel media, industry figures, suppliers and Mr Tim Mawe, Ambassador of Ireland to Australia.

“If you manage to have a good time this evening with Irish music, Irish food and Irish drink, think what it would be like if you and your 1,000s of customers were actually in Ireland,” he said.

“We offer an award winning tourism product from a really committed industry and that’s something we pride ourselves in.”