France and the Gathering


The Gathering is essentially a tourism initiative aimed at the USA and countries with large Irish populations, but there is some activity too from the French side

Serge Fonseca – trade marketing manager of Tourisme Irlandais (Fáilte Ireland’s incarnation in France) has said that the diaspora in France was of relatively small proportions. The drive, therefore, is to use The Gathering as a way of getting people in France to “discover or rediscover Ireland and experience all that is unique in Ireland.”

“From 70 million Irish diaspora estimated across the world, there were 4 key markets identified to promote The Gathering: US, GB, Germany and France,” says Fonseca. “However, only 1.7 million Irish diaspora were estimated in our market so we have decided to target more than these who represent only 2.6 % of the total inhabitants in France. Therefore, we are targeting all potential holiday makers to benefit from this unique year of events to discover or rediscover the destination.”

Fonseca adds that a number of initiatives have been launched over the last year or so in anticipation of The Gathering in France and Fáilte Ireland have just launched a new television advertising campaign that will go out on a number of TV channels and online outlets in France.

How Ireland is Being Promoted on TV in France

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    Return of the French Rose

Whey-hey! A representative from France will be amongst the fragrant roses gathering for this year's festival for the first time in years.

Whey-hey! A representative from France will be amongst the fragrant roses gathering for this year’s festival for the first time in years.

After an absence of four years, France will once more have a representative in the International Rose of Tralee Festival. The event is being organised this year by French-based Irishman Brian Clancy from the very centre of France. Tootlafrance will be featuring an interview with Brian on this subject in the coming days, but it’s envisaged that the event to choose the French rose will take place in early April.

    Ferry Trip for a Euro, anyone?

Sweet Deal: A model highlights the St Patrick's Weekend offer from Celtic Link Ferries

Sweet Deal: A model highlights the St Patrick’s Weekend offer from Celtic Link Ferries

Meanwhile, low-cost ferry operator Celtic Link have announced that they will be doing a once-off special offer on their one-way trips from France to Ireland for St Patrick’s Weekend. The year-round ferry operator is giving tourist passengers the opportunity to sail to Ireland with their tourist vehicle, the people in the vehicle and a cabin (cabins are first come, first served) for only €1.

“This deal was set up for a multiplicity of different reasons” says Tourist Passenger Manager Rory McCall. “Obviously we want to get as many people to visit Ireland for the St. Patrick’s holiday weekend as possible, but also to solidify Celtic Link Ferries as a legitimate alternative to the other ferry operators to France from Ireland.”

At present there are over six hundred passengers booked on this never-before-seen sailing and Celtic Link Ferries say that more Gathering special offers could be a possibility further down the line.

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