Tourism Ireland has appointed Four Communications for a region-wide public relations programme.
Four Communications will work with the tourism board responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas on positioning Ireland as a must-visit holiday destination for both local and expatriate residents in the GCC.
Four will provide PR and press office support in both Arabic and English, as well as identifying opportunities such as trade missions, key events and creative projects.
Tourism Ireland works to raise the profile of the island of Ireland overseas through a range of incentives and promotions. Ireland has seen year on year increases in the number of visitors from the GCC region and the trend looks set to continue this year spurred on by increased flights and visa initiatives, as well as high-profile events, activities and other cultural offerings.
At present, there are 17 direct flights from the UAE each week into Dublin, operated by Etihad Airways and Emirates, as well as convenient one-stop services operated by British Airways, Virgin and Turkish Airlines.
Amanda Burns, General Manager Middle East and Asia at Tourism Ireland, said:
"The number of visitors from the GCC region has risen steadily thanks to excellent airline access to Dublin from the UAE and the introduction of the visa waiver scheme, allowing holders of a valid UK visa entry to the Republic of Ireland.
"The island of Ireland attracts tourists who come to enjoy our many high profile events and activities. Following the successful launch of ni2012 in April which was launched in the UAE by the First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, this summer the island is abuzz with the excitement of the Irish Open, the Dubai Duty Free Races and the Volvo Ocean Race, all of which have a strong resonance with the Middle East market and the UAE through a shared love of golf, horse racing and sailing.
"I am delighted to be working with Four Communications to help raise the profile of the island of Ireland further in this important region for Tourism Ireland."
Ray Eglington, Managing Director – International of Four Communications, said:
"Four Communications has wide experience in travel and tourism, and following our acquisition of bgb, the UK’s largest travel & tourism PR and representation agency in 2011, we have become one of the largest independent consultancies in the sector.
"The island of Ireland has much to offer its visitors and we are delighted to have been chosen by Tourism Ireland to help reveal its attractions to holiday seekers in the region."