Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons to step down

Group chairman says Ireland’s reputation abroad has grown significantly since organisation set up after Belfast Agreement

Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons is to step down from the role in April.

Mr Gibbons has spent 21 years with the company, including 14 as chief executive. Tourism Ireland was set up after the Belfast Agreement to promote the island of Ireland as a tourism destination overseas.

Tourism Ireland chairman Christopher Brooke said Ireland’s reputation abroad had grown significantly over the years of Mr Gibbons’ tenure. “I would like to thank Niall for his outstanding leadership and commitment to tourism over the last 21 years,” he said.

“Tourism Ireland has been one of the great success stories of the Belfast Agreement, demonstrating that compromise and goodwill can build a better future for all of us. Under Niall’s leadership, the island of Ireland’s reputation abroad has grown significantly.


“Initiatives like the renowned global greening on St Patrick’s Day around the world, screen tourism partnerships like Game of Thrones with HBO and Star Wars with Lucasfilm have put Tourism Ireland at the cutting edge of marketing and branding effectiveness.

“Northern Ireland has also seen its tourism fortunes transformed in Niall’s time, with the promotion of iconic experiences like Titanic Belfast and Northern Ireland’s world-class golf product.”

Mr Gibbons said the time was right for a new challenge. “Being CEO of Tourism Ireland, leading an exceptionally talented team, has been a great honour and privilege,” he said.

“I started with the company just after 9/11 and tourism has weathered many challenges since then, including Covid-19. As we approach the 25th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement, which gave rise to Tourism Ireland, the time is right for a new challenge.”

The board of Tourism Ireland will now hold an open international competition for a new chief executive.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter