Tourism Ireland is celebrating a record breaking year as its latest arrival figures show that North American visitors increased by 16.5%.

Based on those results, it\’s not surprising that The Gathering 2013 is being hailed as a great success. The ambitious tourism initiative resulted in 4,000 events taking place across the country with participants coming from around the world to be part of those festivities.

Here in Canada, Tourism Ireland is now looking ahead to 2014, putting plans in place to highlight the newly introduced year-round direct access from Toronto to Dublin with a number of cross media co-operative marketing campaigns rolling out across the provinces.

On April 21, Aer Lingus will launch its inaugural flight from Toronto to Dublin, bringing to a close its 32 year hiatus from the market; while on May 1, Air Canada rouge will inaugurate its service to Dublin.

Once launched, both airlines will connect Dublin with 52 cities across Canada on a year-round basis, adding over 22,000 access seats into Ireland during the winter months.

As Tourism Ireland\’s Canadian manager, Jayne Shackleford sees it: \”With year-round direct access to Ireland, 2014 marks the start of a new era for marketing the island of Ireland in Canada and it\’s an added bonus that we\’re wrapping up this season on such a tremendous high.\”

And Shackleford continued: \”We\’re excited with the prospect of repositioning Ireland as a destination to visit 365 days a year and spotlighting the entertaining calendar of events and, of course, the great value to be found visiting Ireland throughout the autumn and winter seasons. Visitors can find great deals on accommodation, flights, dining and visitor attractions.\”

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