The number of British visitors to the island of Ireland is predicted to rise 6% this year, it was revealed today.
The year 2002 should see around 4.6 million British visitors to Ireland, according to estimates from Tourism Ireland.
Both Northern Ireland and the Republic are marketed together by Tourism Ireland.
At World Travel Market in London today, the organisation cited its Temptation Ireland promotion last summer for helping to attract more Britons.
“We are delighted that the island of Ireland continues to grow in popularity for the Great Britain visitor,” said Tourism Ireland’s Great Britain director John Greene.
“Representing more than 50% of all Ireland’s visitors and one third of all revenue, the British market is hugely important to us, particularly with the challenges that were presented to the tourism industry as a whole in 2002.”
The Australian Tourist Commission said today that Britons – seemingly undeterred by lack of success by England’s cricketers Down Under – were booking for future sporting events in Australia in promising numbers.
The ATC said thousands of UK sports fans had already booked flights in preparation for the Rugby World Cup in Australia next autumn.
“As with the British Lions rugby tour in 2001 we want to encourage visitors to experience all of Australia as well as the see the matches,” said ATC’s general manager Tony Mayell at the World Travel Market.
Also at WTM today, Caribbean islands reported increases in UK visitors this year. Antigua and Barbuda welcomed 5.7% more UK tourists in the first six months of 2002 compared with the same period last year.
Bermuda hosted 12% more UK visitors in the first half of this year, while St. Vincent and The Grenadines had 9.8% more British tourists in the January-May 2002 period.