TORONTO — Niall Gibbons has announced that he will be stepping down as Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, effective April 2023.
After 14 years at the helm, Gibbons, who has spent a total of 21 years with the company, says “the time is right for a new challenge.” He is credited with playing a part in every aspect of the promotion of Ireland as a tourism destination overseas, since the inception of Tourism Ireland 25 years ago, following the Belfast Agreement of Good Friday 1998.
Christopher Brooke, Chairman of Tourism Ireland, thanked Gibbons for his “outstanding leadership” over the last 21 years: “Under Niall’s leadership, the island of Ireland’s reputation abroad has grown significantly. Initiatives like the renowned Global Greening on St. Patrick’s Day around the world, screen tourism partnerships like ‘Game of Thrones’ with HBO and ‘Star Wars’ with Lucasfilm Ltd., have put Tourism Ireland at the cutting edge of marketing and branding effectiveness.”
Brooke added: “Northern Ireland has also seen its tourism fortunes transformed in Niall’s time, with the promotion of iconic experiences like Titanic Belfast and Northern Ireland’s world-class golf product. It is no wonder that the World Economic Forum has ranked Ireland third out of 140 countries for tourism marketing and branding effectiveness.”
Gibbons, who first joined Tourism Ireland just after 9/11, said he’s weathered many challenges during his tenure, most recently COVID-19, and that it’s been a “great honour and privilege” to lead the team.
“I want to thank everyone for all the support I have received over the last 21 years. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible over the next few months before I depart. I wish the staff of Tourism Ireland and the tourism industry well in 2023 and beyond,” said Gibbons.
The Board of Tourism Ireland will be launching an international competition for a new Chief Executive to replace Gibbons.