Tourism chiefs go global to reverse decline
TOURISM chiefs have launched a global marketing strategy in an effort to halt the alarming fall in the number of visitors to Ireland.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office this month showed the number of foreign visitors has plummeted by more than 850,000 in the last year.
The fall-off was greatest in visitors from Britain and this market -- alongside the US, Germany and France -- will be the focus of the new Tourism Ireland campaign.
"The global economic downturn has led to fundamental changes in the tourism and travel industry around the globe," chief executive Niall Gibbons said.
"Competition is fierce and the holiday choice available for people everywhere is vast, with many other tourist boards also targeting our traditional markets and customers more aggressively than ever."
Tourism is Ireland's biggest indigenous industry, accounting for more than 200,000 jobs here.
Tourism Ireland's advertising campaign in Britain will focus on the "fun" of a holiday here. It also said it would be working with airlines in a bid to restore lost services and develop new routes.