Ireland sees double-digit growth in 2015; looks to attract ‘culturally curious’ in 2016

Ireland sees double-digit growth in 2015; looks to attract ‘culturally curious’ in 2016

TORONTO — At an event earlier this week with Tourism Ireland and Insight Vacations, Travelweek spoke with Dana Welch, Manager, Canada for Tourism Ireland about current growth and what to expect in 2016.

“[Ireland] actually had 30% growth from 2013 to 2014 and we are on track to see double-digit growth out of 2015, so were seeing a real increase in traffic from Canada to Ireland,” said Welch.

Ireland has also secured some impressive awards. Dublin was named the third best city to visit by Lonely Planet, Ashford Castle won Virtuso’s Hotel of the Year at 2015’s Best of the Best ceremony and Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse won best attraction in Europe at the World Travel Awards.

The destination has had great success targeting what they refer to as the ‘culturally curious’ with the 45-year plus market. The 2016 campaign reflects this with three main areas they are looking to focus on:

A continued focus on the Wild Atlantic Way

The world’s longest defined coastal touring route, an impressive feat for a small country, will be a continued focus for Ireland. The route boasts stunning views and a road trip that offers many diverse scenery and activities for tourists.

Year of Food and Drink in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland boasts impressive farmland, which is why the big push for the Year of Food and Drink is local food.  Each month has a different theme and there will be 365 days of ‘foodie experiences’.

Ireland’s Ancient East

For the Culturally Curious, the east of Ireland is promoting its history. Ireland’sAncient East lets clients experience 5,000 years of European history in a compact area. Visitors can get off the beaten track to see, hear, touch and feel the imprints of the millennia of settlers in this land. Ancient Man, Early Christians, Medieval Lords, Colonial Settlers and their descendants all settled on the land. Stone Age art, the monasteries, the castles and fortresses are just some of the attractions clients can see.

For more information, go to, or call the Toronto office at 416-925-6368.