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India-Irish relations and potential in the tourism sector

Tourism is one of Ireland’s most significant economic industries, and one of the largest contributors to the Irish economy. Each year about €5bn in revenue is produced from economic activities directly related to tourism, accounting for around 4% of GNP.

The tourism sector provides about 325,000 jobs on the island of Ireland and many students at third level are part-time or seasonally working in the tourism industry.

‘Emerald Isle’ is always welcoming and friendly to the overseas visitors, and is a favourite holiday destination for many. Most tourists visiting Ireland come from the UK, US, Germany, France and India.

According to latest reports, India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing travel markets in the world. Indians are very interested in travel. Some travel for their business needs, while others spend time with family.

Thailand, Singapore, the UAE, Germany and France are among their favorite destinations. But over the past five years, Ireland has become a favorite tourist place of Indians, in addition to the European countries of Germany and France.

Ireland has seen a large rise in tourist arrivals from India, with an estimated 38,000 Indian tourists to Ireland in 2018, an increase of 9% year on year. This progress is thought to be due to the launch of the British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS) in India in 2015.

The advantage of this scheme is that it allows tourists and business visitors to visit Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a single visa. Therefore, BIVS has a major role in increasing tourism from India to Ireland. Since the introduction of BIVS, there has been a significant increase in the number of trips to Ireland marketed by Indian tour operators.

Government’s view and plans on Ireland’s tourism sector

The aim of the Irish Government is to have a vibrant tourism sector that contributes to jobs across the country as well as a sector that people want to work in; a sector that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable; increase revenue from overseas visitors and to promote Ireland as an attractive spot for tourists from all over the world.

The government says communication between foreign visitors and those working in the tourism sector is very important. Their view is that this will create a positive link between the virtues of Ireland and the virtues of the Irish people. The government also reminds us that the quality of service provided to visitors must be of the highest possible standard.

Airline connection to Ireland from India

Air connectivity from India to the island of Ireland has increased compared to the past. With that came a significant increase in business trips and leisure trips to Ireland.

There are several flights coming from various Indian cities with stopovers in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Emirates, Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways travel to Dublin via their respective hubs providing great connectivity to India’s main and secondary cities.

Virgin Atlantic recently resumed daily direct operations between Mumbai and London Heathrow. Connections from London to Dublin are very frequent.

What is Tourism Ireland and why should you rely on them?

Tourism Ireland is responsible for the overseas promotion of Ireland as the leading holiday destination. They offer world-class marketing programmes in more than 20 markets around the world and attract a global audience of over 600 million per year.

According to the WTTC, India ranks third out of 185 countries in terms of total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP in 2018. In 2019 the number of agents featuring Ireland has increased by 11% with 313 itineraries of Ireland being sold.

The UK is one of the top three most popular destinations for Indian tourists. Most people from India stay longer than 22 nights. This is a great opportunity as Ireland is an easy extension to the UK with BIVS.

Tourism Ireland aims to continue working with the Island Ireland industry by 2020 to promote business and increase holiday bookings from this vital market.

It is important to note that Tourism Ireland can work with you throughout the year to promote your product or service to the Indian market through e-marketing promotions and in-market events. Not only do these opportunities offer great value for investment, they also help your business succeed.

Tourism Ireland offers a few guidelines to keep in mind when operating in the Indian market:

● Majority of the Indians travel with their partner or with their family. They appreciate booking discounts.

● Indian visitors like to try local and Indian meals.

● They prefer luxury products than cheap low quality products.

● They are interested in enjoying nature rather than city life.

● Provide them free WiFi as they are very active users of social media.

● Demonstrate knowledge of Indian culture

● Discus with them about movies and cricket

Their upcoming plans are: Increased focus on social media with regular posts on dedicated Ireland Facebook India page to optimise the company’s presence in India; sending regular e-zines to trade and consumers and Increased co-operative marketing with trade and airline partners and media activities generating more high-value publicity opportunities.

Click the below link to see Tourism Ireland‘s market overview: https://www.tourismireland.com/TourismIreland/media/Tourism-Ireland/Research/TI-India-Snapshot.pdf?ext=.pdf

Here are the best tips for caring for visitors from India: https://www.tourismireland.com/TourismIreland/media/Tourism-Ireland/Research/India-visitor-and-trade-tips.pdf

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