THE WEST coast has long lured tourists from America, but travel agents in Limerick are looking east in seeking to attract more tourists from India.
Tourism Ireland and a delegation of Irish tourism organisations, including Limerick Travel, travelled to India earlier this week to take part in a travel trade mission in Mumbai and Delhi – in a bid to grow Ireland’s share of this rapidly-growing tourism market.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said while the “majority of our overseas visitors come from the core tourism markets of Great Britain, north America and mainland Europe, and this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by India and the other BRIC (Brazil, Russian, India and China) countries.
He said since the visa waiver scheme was introduced by the Government in 2011, there has been a noted increase in demand from Indian tour operators for visas for Ireland.
Estimates by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation suggest that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020 and “this market could play a significant part in helping us to grow tourism from overseas in 2013 and beyond.”