Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons has just touched down in Australia and already he is sharing the message that Ireland is in a “golden age for tourism”.

Niall, along with several other delegates from Ireland, are Down Under this week for Tourism Ireland’s roadshows and sales mission.

During an address at Tourism Ireland’s new Sydney office today, Niall said 11.1 million people were expected to visit Ireland by the end of 2018, up 8% on last year.

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Tourism Ireland’s Niall Gibbons and Christopher Brooke.

And how important are Australians to Ireland’s visitor market? VERY.

Not only is Australia the 10th largest visitor market for Ireland but it is the 6th most valuable in terms of revenue generation.

“This is a remarkable statistic given how far away Australia is,” Niall said.

“Up until the end of August we’ve seen 150,000 people come from Australia and New Zealand into Ireland, that’s up 9,700 on last year an increase of almost 7%.”

Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland Ireland Niall Gibbons

By the end of the year, he expects 230,000 people from Australia and New Zealand to visit Ireland.

“These are very, very strong numbers,” he said.

He said it has never been easier to get from Australia to Ireland with five airlines now offering one-stop access from Australia.

Now is the time to book early-bird deals with Etihad who fly daily to Dublin from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Looking forward to next year, Tourism Ireland’s ‘Jump into Ireland’ campaign will finish, with a fresh campaign to be announced next month.

Niall said some key areas of focus for 2019 will be growing quarter one and quarter four and driving visitor dispersal.

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