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Tourism Ireland to reap from Obama visit

Tourism Ireland has ramped up its US marketing campaign to coincide with President Barack Obama’s visit to Ireland, which is expected to generate huge publicity in the US.

Hundreds of international journalists have been accredited as part of the visit, with Tourism Ireland using the visit to leverage awareness in the US, the country’s second largest tourism market after the UK.

Obama’s visit comes on the back of Queen Elizabeth II returning from a well-received trip to the Republic of Ireland, the first by a British monarch since 1911.

To visit will celebrate Obama’s Irish ancestry with genealogy selected as a key theme of the marketing push in the United States.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland: “This has been an excellent month for Irish tourism with the announcement by the government of a package of measures to stimulate the tourism sector and now culminating in the second of our two historic visits with President Obama’s arrival.”


“The United States is a tremendously important market for us, second only to Britain in terms of delivering visitor numbers. Our focus is on maximising the potential of this unique occasion and on promoting Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination to the millions of Americans who will come into contact with Ireland in the coming days and weeks.”

Security will be tight following the US raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan three weeks ago.

After arriving in Dublin, President Obama will meet Irish President Mary McAleese and then hold talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Later, the US leader, together with First Lady Michelle Obama, will visit the village of Moneygall, Co Offaly, which was the home of his great-great-great grandfather on his mother’s side, Falmouth Kearney. Later in Dublin, President Obama will deliver an open-air speech on College Green.

On Tuesday, Obama flies to London for a three-day state visit to the UK. He and his family will stay at Buckingham Palace as guests of the Queen.

He will also hold talks with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street with the Nato operation in Libya expected to be high on the agenda.

Obama will also address both houses of the UK parliament at Westminster Hall.

On Thursday Obama heads to Deauville, France, for the G8 summit where he will meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

On Friday, the US leader travels on to Poland to discuss proposals for a US missile shield in Europe which the Poles will partly host.