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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 22 November, 2019
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Tourism trade mission bids to attract Asia-Pacific visitors

Tourism Ireland will lead a delegation on a five-day ‘sales blitz’ as the government confirms a temporary visa waiver scheme.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive

TOURISM IRELAND is to lead a five-day tourism trade mission to the Asia-Pacific region beginning this weekend, capitalising on the government’s new visa waiver scheme announced yesterday.

The ‘sales blitz’ hopes to encourage tour operators from the Pacific region to include Irish destinations in future holiday programmes, hoping to build on yesterday’s announcement that the government would be relaxing visa requirements for tourists in the coming years.

The visa relaxation moves, which form part of the jobs initiative announced by Michael Noonan yesterday, will see Ireland waive its usual visa requirements for people who have already secured visas to travel to the UK until the end of 2013.

The Irish delegation is to travel to a business-to-business travel trade event, ‘Destination Britain & Ireland’, meeting trade representatives from India, China, Japan, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Australia and New Zealand.

Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons said the Asia-Pacific region offered “exciting possibilities for tourism to the island of Ireland in the medium-to-long term”, and pointed to international research indicating that outbound travel from the region would explode in the coming years.

Announcing the programme in the Dáil yesterday, Noonan said the scheme was particularly geared at attracting visitors who might be visiting Britain in 2012 to coincide with the Olympic Games in London.

Gibbons said the visits of Queen Elizabeth and President Obama next week would also help to raise Ireland’s profile as a potential tourist destination.

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Gavan Reilly

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