Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD today launched two important tourism initiatives; the Lismore (Co. Waterford) Heritage Centre website and the West Waterford Trails brochure.
Speaking today, the Minister said: “Ireland as a destination is continuing to improve and become more attractive for our overseas visitors. In 2010, there were over 6 million overseas visitors to Ireland and an estimated €3.4bn in foreign investment was generated. Tourism makes a vital contribution to the Irish economy and I believe it will play a very significant role in helping the economy overcome the current challenges.”
As a destination, the South East of Ireland plays an important role in tourism and in 2009, more than 670,000 overseas visitors came to visit this part of the country. Waterford is a very popular destination with many local attractions, as evidenced by the 214,000 visitors who travelled here in 2009, generating over €226m in revenue. The vast majority of these visitors came from mainland Europe, making them Waterford’s biggest market, followed closely by visitors from Britain and North America.
In advance of the Tall Ships festival which takes place toward the end of June this year, the US Coast Guard vessel the ‘Barque Eagle’ celebrated its 75th birthday and paid a courtesy visit to Waterford today. The vessel with a crew of 200 cadets berthed at Waterford Quay where it will remain until this weekend. While the Barque Eagle has been in Ireland before, this is the vessels first visit to Waterford.
Minister Ring concluded: “Ireland has stunning landscapes and the number of things to see and do while on holiday here has improved immensely in the last few years. The two initiatives I have launched today in Waterford are evidence of this and show the energy, drive and enthusiasm in local areas to grow our tourism industry and to extend a warm Irish welcome to all our visitors.”
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Press Office: (01) 604 1090. Caroline Ryan (086) 8915570.
Notes for Editors:
The Lismore Heritage Centre website is www.discoverlismore.ie. Information on walking trails is available to download from the site.