Minister Donohoe (right) announcing the new plan.

Minister Donohoe (right) announcing the new plan.

Australia offers significant potential for Irish tourism, according to a new Tourism Ireland strategy launched by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe T.D.

The new, three-year strategy for growth sets out ambitious targets which will see the number of Australian visitors grow by 20%, representing almost 220,000 visitors, by the end of 2017.

Under Tourism Ireland’s new strategy, Ireland will be positioned to complement, rather than compete with, the most popular European destinations which are the main draw for Australians.  When Australians decide to take a long-haul trip to Europe, Ireland then becomes a viable destination as part of that trip.  Ireland will also be positioned to compete with other destinations that could potentially divert Australian travellers away from Ireland.

The aim is to position Ireland as the ideal starting point for a European trip, emphasising that it is easy to reach, with frequent, one-stop flights.  To compete with some of the attractions of other European destinations, Tourism Ireland will showcase many of the unique, ‘must do’ experiences that are most likely to resonate with the target groups in the Australian market.

The strategy sets out how Tourism Ireland will focus on Ireland’s ‘best prospect’ audiences – those segments of the overall Australian outbound tourism market who represent the highest potential for travel to Ireland.

The Australian outbound travel market in general has seen remarkable growth in recent years. Australians took more than 14m trips overseas in 2013; and more than one third of all those trips were made to Europe.

Minister Donohoe said: “As we plan for continued tourism growth from all our overseas markets, Australia will have an important role to play in helping to sustain our tourism sector, our economy and to both sustain and create jobs in communities right across the country.”

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