The Titanic anniversary, St Patrick’s Day, and last year’s visits by Britain’s Queen and US President Barack Obama contributed to a surge in interest across Europe in Ireland as a holiday destination.
Online travel agent ebookers.ie also attributed the increased interest to an impressive marketing campaign across the continent by Tourism Ireland.
Ebookers predicted an influx of visitors from across Europe this year based on a comparison of data from its search engine between January and June this year, compared with last year.
The largest increase in interest has come from the Netherlands, with a 77% rise in searches compared with last year.
There has also been huge interest in Ireland as a holiday destination in Belgium, where “Ireland” searches increased by 64%. In Sweden, interest in Ireland increased by 60% while in Denmark it increased by 57%.
Ebookers also noted that interest in Ireland increased by 26% in Austria, 24% in France, 20% in Germany, 21% in Switzerland, and 12% in Britain.
Ebookers marketing manager Jen Quinlan said it was great to see Ireland moving to the forefront of European holiday-makers’ minds as they realised what the country had to offer.
Tourism Ireland’s head of Europe, Finola O’Mahony, said the organisation’s extensive programme of promotions was now in full swing across Europe.
“We will shortly roll out our autumn campaign, targeting millions of potential holiday makers for city breaks and rural holidays with enticing messages about upcoming festivals, our world class food and the wealth of things to see and do here,” she said.
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