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Tourism Ireland aims to get more Russians to visit here

Trade mission lands in Moscow and St Petersburg to raise awareness of island’s attractions to the 24 million Russians who travel abroad annually.

Would Russian tourists be up for a tour of Bunratty Castle in Clare, followed by a tipple in Durty Nellys?
Would Russian tourists be up for a tour of Bunratty Castle in Clare, followed by a tipple in Durty Nellys?
Image: Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

A TRADE MISSION which hopes to attract more Russians to the whole island of Ireland has kicked off today.

Irish tourism operators in Russia and representatives from Tourism Ireland are in Moscow and St Petersburg this week putting forward the island as a viable destination to tourists from Russia and neighbouring Russian-speaking countries. These would include Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Tourism Ireland said that it had identified Russia and these countries as a potential market with over 24 million Russians travelling outside their own country every year. It also conducted research which showed that Russian have “limited understanding of what the island of Ireland has to offer as a holiday destination”. The hope is that this mission will increase awareness and lead to Ireland being included in Russian tour operators’ itineraries.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said that Ireland had some obvious attraction points for Russian tourists as research shows that ‘natural scenic beauty’ and ‘history and culture’ are two main factors for Russians deciding where to travel outside of their own country. He said:

In 2010, Russian tourism business to the UK increased by 23 per cent and since the visa waiver scheme was introduced here by the Government in 2011, there has been a noted increase in demand from Russian tour operators for visas for Ireland.

This week’s mission is in conjunction with VisitBritain.

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