Tourism Ireland woos travellers from Middle East with new website

Tourism body unveils new campaign to target tourists from Middle East

Tourism Ireland is ramping up its online presence in the Middle East, with a new culturally-specific version of its online portal,

The move is designed to capitalise on a growing interest in Ireland among holidaymakers in the Gulf States.

Last year, a record 37,000 people from the Middle East visited Ireland.

Etihad airline also recently announced a 35 per cent increase in capacity on its service from Abu Dhabi to Dublin, which is in addition to the Emirates service from Dubai.


Tourism Ireland's new website - - is tailored specifically for the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) countries, which include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

As part of the campaign, Tourism Ireland is running a competition off the homepage of the site, with a chance to win a trip to Northern Ireland, taking in the Titanic museum in Belfast, the spectacular scenic route of the Giant's Causeway coast, and a trip to the UK's city of culture 2013, Derry.

Tourism Ireland's Asia manager, Amanda Burns said: "Tourism Ireland is ramping up its online promotional activity in the Gulf States, in line with the increased interest we are seeing in travel to the island of Ireland, as visitor numbers continue to grow steadily each year from the GCC countries.

"While we are working hard to promote Ireland in the traditional tourism markets like Great Britain and the United States, Tourism Ireland is also very active right now in markets like the Middle East, showcasing Ireland as a premier holiday destination."

Costing €3 million to develop, Tourism Ireland launched its portal in early January, to coincide with the Gathering 2013.

It is being rolled out to 30 markets in 11 languages including Chinese and Russian, and targets the 70 per cent of people who now research and book their holidays online.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times