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Ireland hopes to see more Indian tourists in 2016

DELHI: Over 27,500 Indians travelled to Ireland in 2015 said Niall Gibbons, CEO, Tourism Ireland. He expects the number to increase to over 30,000 in 2016 with visa application to the country being up by 20% compared to similar period last year. Typically, Indian leisure travelers stay in Ireland for eight nights while the MICE travelers stay on for 4 nights on average. Gibbons was speaking at the sales mission for Tourism Ireland. The mission covered Delhi and Mumbai and saw about 200 buyers.

Gibbons was circumspect on the effect of the looming Brexit on Ireland’s tourism. “Post Brexit, it is significant to diversify into newer markets and thus we are reviewing our source markets at the moment. As part of market diversification, we have made submission to the Ireland Government for increase in budget for tourism promotion globally,” he told TravelBizMonitor.

Currently, the Asian markets contribute about 7% for visitor numbers to Ireland. Those from India have been growing at a double digit rate, he said.

The sales mission was especially focused on promoting Ireland as a shooting location. Popular Tv series like Game of Thrones and Star Wars were shot their recently.

Beena Menon, India Representative, Tourism Ireland added that Ireland was also picking up as a MICE destination. Also, many like to drive the famous drives like the 2500 km long Wild Atlantic Way route and Causeway Coastal Routes, the location of Game of Thrones. Many Indians also go for the Irish Whiskey Trail. India is among the biggets consumers of whisky in the world.



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