Australia is playing a crucial part in helping tourism to Ireland enjoy a "golden age."
That was the message from Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, at a media briefing in Sydney Thursday. The event also saw the official opening of the new Australian office of Tourism Ireland in the CBD.
Mr Gibbons revealed that Ireland is expecting to welcome 11.1 million visitors this year, a rise of eight per cent on last year.
"We are living in a golden age for tourism in Ireland at the moment," he said, emphasising the part Australians play in this growth. While Australia is the 10th largest market for Ireland, we are the sixth highest when it comes to money spent, contributing to the six billion Euros that tourism brings into the country.
At the end of August, some 150,000 Australasians had visited Ireland, with the figure expected to reach 230,000 by the end of the year.
"This figure has grown by more than 52 per cent in the last seven years, which is a colossal increase," Mr Gibbons added.
Highlighting the ease of connectivity to Ireland, Mr Gibbons also revealed that a major new destinational marketing campaign will be unveiled to the world at a special event in Dublin on November 26.
"As part of that campaign, we will be directing additional resources to help spread the message about Ireland in Australia," he added.
The new campaign will aim to encourage visitors to get out and explore more of Ireland and to increase tourism traffic during the off-season periods, particularly January through to March.
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