GoIreland launches photo competition

GoIreland.com is launching its 2006 amateur photography awards competition. Any visitor to Ireland, domestic or inbound, is invited to create a photo that reflects the Ireland of tomorrow. This theme follows on the success of last year’s competition which focused on contemporary Ireland and attracted around 7,000 entries from around the world.

Launching the 2006 competition, Irish Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, John O’Donoghue TD, said Ireland continues to develop its standing and performance in the increasingly competitive international tourism marketplace, adding that the awards will provide valuable feedback on holiday maker and visitor perceptions of Ireland.

The overall winner will receive a luxury holiday in Ireland while 11 runners-up will be able to choose an Irish short break. The 12 best photos will be reproduced by travel and tourism gift business The Hinde Company as a unique 2007 calendar. Entries can be made by visiting www.goireland.com/photo_comp/Enter.htm, while further information is available by emailing [email protected] Entries close on Friday 29 September 2006 and the winners will be announced by end November. Judges include Paul O’Toole, chief executive of Tourism Ireland.

Separately, Go Ireland.com reported a 59 per cent rise in tourism bookings for the first half of the year. More than 24,000 bookings, representing 123,550 bed nights valued at almost €4.9 million, were recorded. US (15 per cent), UK (29 per cent) and Irish (37 per cent) accounted for the majority of bookings. GoIreland.com receives more than 50,000 unique visitors to its Gulliver-powered web site each week.