Shannon Airport has today stated that figures released by Tourism Ireland showing a major increase in the number of visitors to Ireland in the first six months of the year reflect the experience across the West of Ireland region.
Welcoming the publication of the six-month tourism figures, as well as the commitment by Transport, Tourism and Sport Minister Paschal Donohoe, TD, today of his intention to further support the tourism industry, Shannon Airport CEO Neil Pakey said that the sector can continue to be one of the key growth areas of the Irish economy.
“The 10% increase across the board nationally is very welcome and we have definitely witnessed that here on the ground across the West of Ireland. Our passenger numbers at Shannon for the first six months of the year have even outpaced the national average as we are up by 15%,” he said.
“We note the Tourism Ireland statement highlighting the Wild Atlantic Way programme and Limerick City of Culture as key promotions this year. While the City of Culture programme ends in December, there is huge opportunity for further growth with the Wild Atlantic Way, which Shannon is the key gateway airport for given that we provide US, UK and European services.
“There can be no let-up in the promotion of the route as it will be a jewel in the tourism crown for Ireland in the years and decades ahead. It is also essential that the respective agencies promote access directly into the West of Ireland for this route as it is far more beneficial for the customer experience if visitors don’t have to incur long transfer times to the route.
“We are very much encouraged also by Minister Donohoe’s comments today as he has given a clear signal that he will be looking for further support for tourism at cabinet level, not least given that employment was up by over 14,000 in the first three months alone this year in the sector, which shows the knock-on benefits to the Irish economy.”