Tourism Ireland has launched a new strategy to draw more Canadian tourists, the organization announced this week.Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Executive Vice President, U.S. & Canada, unveiled the plan in Toronto yesterday, identifying Canada as a market which offers significant potential for Irish tourism. Entitled ‘Canada: Land of Opportunity – A Strategy for Growth 2014-2016’, the plan sets out ambitious targets which will see the number of Canadian visitors to the island of Ireland grow by 47 per cent to 184,000 by the end of 2016, delivering revenue of $181 million .Despite global economic uncertainty in recent years, the Canadian market has performed strongly for tourism to Ireland. Visitor numbers are estimated to have grown by 28 per cent from 2011 to 2013. In 2013, approximately 125,000 Canadians visited Ireland, spending about $122 million. Canadian visitors are highly valued, as they tend to stay longer, spend more and visit more of the regions of Ireland than the average visitor. Canadians also have one of the highest propensities to visit Northern Ireland, with approximately one-third of all Canadian visitors to the island doing so, said Tourism Ireland.One of the key factors working in Tourism Ireland’s favour is the number of direct flights from Canada to Ireland, which has grown dramatically this year with a 70 per cent increase for the peak summer season and 100 per cent increase for the shoulder and winter seasons. Beginning this winter, direct, scheduled services from Toronto to Ireland are anticipated to add another 18 per cent year-over-year increase in capacity in 2015.
For more information, visit www.trade.ireland.com.