Ireland shines at Discover Europe Travel Summit


Ahead of the Arabian Travel Market, 97 tourism representatives from four European countries met with more than 100 travel professionals from the Gulf region in Dubai. Discover Europe Travel Summit, the annual two-day event, returned to Dubai last month, with more than 4,000 pre-scheduled meetings taking place.

The summit brought together a delegation of 97 exhibitors from across Austria, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland, to meet with more than 100 hosted buyers from the GCC.

Aisling McDermott, Manager Middle East & Asia of Tourism Ireland said: “We’re really pleased to make our inaugural appearance at the Discover Europe event and are excited to see the fruits of our labour come to the fore. Joining the event as an easy decision for us as we’ve witnessed the success in previous years and it’s great to have the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with top European tourism boards.

“Before Covid-19, 2019 was the best year ever for tourism to the island of Ireland we welcomed almost 11.3 million overseas visitors (9.7 million to Ireland). Overseas tourism contributed $6.97 billion, to the economies north and south (€5.2 billion to Ireland), supporting around 325,000 jobs in communities across the island.

“Tourism Ireland estimates that before Covid-19, in 2019, we welcomed 75,000 visitors from the Middle East to Ireland. Around 65 per cent of all visitors from the Middle East to Ireland come from the UAE. Our airline and travel trade partners are very positive on demand for holidays to the island of Ireland in the year ahead,” said McDermott.

The Middle East has benefited from the introduction of visa-free travel for UAE nationals to Ireland in 2018.



Earlier this year, Tourism Ireland signed on a campaign to get more GCC travellers to visit the Emerald Isle.

“We are delighted to partner with Wego to showcase the exciting array of things to see and do for visitors from the Middle East to our beautiful island,” McDermott said. “From vibrant cities to luxury castle stays, Ireland has something for all visitors whether travelling alone, with friends or your family. Our messages are clear, book your holiday to Ireland now where a warm welcome and unforgettable stay is waiting for you.”



Discover Unesco City of literature, the culturally rich and invigorating Dublin. Travellers can opt to visit the vibrant galleries and old museums and castles, try exceptional food experiences, learn the story of this incredible city and much more.

Another city that is a must see for everyone, is Belfast. People come to Belfast to explore the maritime heritage and, to experience Titanic Belfast, which tells the story of the famous liner which was built in Belfast city. Belfast is also home to an incredible music heritage, wonderful Botanic Gardens, and lots of great places to eat and listen to traditional Irish music.