It’s the luck of the Irish combined with curiosity from enthusiastic Game of Thrones fans & ongoing effort by tourism leaders that keeps Ireland’s tourism industry thriving year-on-year.

Ireland is such a hit right now that it welcomed six percent more visitors throughout 2018, compared to the record-breaking 5.1 million arrivals in 2017.

The tourism hot streak is expected to spread into 2019, with the country’s tourism board – Tourism Ireland – seeing “very positive” figures thanks in large part to a recently launched campaign that “gets into the heart” of prospective visitors worldwide.

Of course, everyone across the Land of Poets and Legends is delira and excira (delighted and excited) over record-breaking growth, but they’re also wondering how they can sustain such robust growth in a post-Game of Thrones era.

Sofia Hansson, Tourism Ireland’s Regional Manager for Australia & New Zealand, told media in Sydney this week that the bureau has changed its approach to tourism in 2019 in order to make it a sustainable industry.


Sofia Hansson, Etihad’s Simon Hawk & Katherine O’Neill, & the Vice Consul General of Ireland Rory Conaty.

She explained that this not only includes sustainability in the sense of maintaining and growing tourism numbers but ensuring visitors are dispersed outside of main tourist areas and visiting outside of peak travel times.

Hansson hopes that promoting regional dispersion will drive this sustainability approach, along with the creation of new icons and sites designed to tempt people away from existing famous attractions.


The Tourism Ireland team working towards sustainable travel from Aus.

“We are looking at featuring new and off the beaten track locations even more than we have before.”

Sofia Hansson, Tourism Ireland Regional Manager for Australia & New Zealand

Although Hansson didn’t touch on which regional areas will be highlighted in future campaigns, she did reveal that in the Australian market there’ll be a strong focus around passion points such as landscapes, views, culture, music, performance, heritage, as well as food and drink.


Music & performance in Ireland is a strong passion point for Aussies.

She continued, saying that she hopes lower airfares from Australia, which reached a record low last year when Cathay Pacific sold flights from $981 return, will also play a role in sustained tourism from the important market.

“We’re delighted to have our partner airlines and look forward to working with them to promote Dublin as a starting point to a grand European trip.”

Sofia Hansson, Tourism Ireland Regional Manager for Australia & New Zealand


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