Ireland reports Australian influx

Ireland reports Australian influx
By admin

Fresh competition between Emirates and Etihad to Dublin is making Ireland a more attractive proposition for Australians, according to tourism chiefs.

The launch in January of Emirates' daily flights from Dubai has created competition for its Gulf rival which operates into the Irish capital from Abu Dhabi.

“Etihad launched flights five years ago and has had a clear run until now,” head of Australia and developing markets Jim Paul said. “New competition is good for the market and for airfares from Australia. Both carriers are reporting strong numbers.

“It has also opened up the Perth and Auckland markets for a one stop flight to Dublin through the Middle East.”
Emirates has already upgraded its aircraft to a 777 because of demand, he added.

Australia was one of the few growth markets for Ireland as overall arrivals fell from nine million in 2009 to seven million in 2011.

Arrivals from Australia and New Zealand hit 141,100 last year, around 10% higher than in 2010, with further growth in the first quarter of 2012 of approximately 2%, Paul said.

Tourism Ireland is hoping for a further push next year as it celebrates The Gathering, a celebration of Irish culture and heritage.

Meanwhile, the government has extended a visa waiver program until 2016, allowing travellers with a UK visa to cross into Ireland without applying for additional documentation.

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