The Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar travelled to Britain today to promote Ireland as a tourism destination, and to help Irish businesses foster closer links with their British counterparts.
Minister Varadkar officiated at a dinner on the theme of ‘Consumer Products & Retail Solutions’ hosted by Enterprise Ireland in London, before focusing on tourism matters.
Minister Varadkar said: ‘Britain is our single most important tourism market. Some 2.8 million British residents came to Ireland last year, and we want to ensure we get back to sustainable growth in those numbers and, more importantly, revenues in 2011’.
“Recently published figures from the CSO showed that visitors from the British market increased by more than 7% in the first quarter of this year. This is remarkable in the face of continuing consumer uncertainty. I believe we can build on this strong start to the year, particularly with the global coverage provided by the visits of Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama.”
Minister Varadkar met with British-based travel and trade operators, along with senior Tourism Ireland executives. He was also be briefed on the current state of the UK tourism market, and the prospects for promoting Ireland as a destination in the year ahead.
The dinner, organised by Enterprise Ireland, was an opportunity for Irish businesses to network with British-based businesses. The aim is to promote Irish exports and help Irish companies to develop their operations in the UK.