When Ireland's Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport Mary Hanafin TD visited New York, recently, we were there to hear what she had to say about travel to Ireland this year.
In 2010, we learned, Ireland is focusing on people of Irish heritage, telling them that “This is the Year to come Home”.
Tourism Ireland’s new campaign targeting the Irish Diaspora will connect with 10 million Irish-born and those of Irish descent. The campaign will include a targeted newspaper, direct marketing and online advertising blitz in New York, Chicago and Boston, and will feature great value airfares and vacation offers from US and Irish based partners, valid for travel through the late summer and Fall.
And what will they find when they come home? Plenty to see, plenty to do. There are always the castles and golf courses and everything else that makes Ireland a popular destination, and this year will feature some exciting travel-worthy events. Some of these include the Dublin Horse Show, The 3 Irish Open, The Wexford Opera Festival and next year the premier competition in Ladies Golf, The Solheim Cup makes its way to Killeen Castle, County Meath.
Bonus: If you aren’t quite sure of your Irish heritage or if you want to delve a little deeper, Tourism Ireland is promoting the launch of the digitalization of the Irish 1901 and 1911 census records which takes place today in the US. These records, now available at www.census.nationalarchives.ie, will help Americans who are interested in researching their ancestors, and will hopefully encourage everyone with a connection to Ireland to look up their Irish cousins—and then come and visit.
Joe Byrne, executive vice president, Tourism Ireland United States and Canada said, “We are very proud to have Minister Hanafin launch our new Diaspora campaign and the digitalization of the 1901 and 1911 census information. We are also delighted that Minister Hanafin has traveled to New York to help us deliver our message about the unique nature of a trip to Ireland, and particularly about the great value that is on offer in 2010—with flights to Belfast, Dublin and Shannon, it has never been easier to make the trip.”
Joe Byrne, Jena Tesse Fox, José Barreiro, Minister Hanafin
José Barreiro and Minister Hanafin