Gulliver Ireland Launches International Tourism Photography Awards
August 01, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel NewsGulliver Ireland, Ireland’s leading cost effective provider of reservations and tourism information, launched today (Monday, 30th July 2007) the GoIreland.com Photography Awards 2007 in association with John Hinde Ireland. Gulliver Ireland and GoIreland.com are part of FEXCO AllTravel.
The Photography Awards is an international amateur tourist photography competition aimed at showcasing Ireland and its tourism qualities. Using John Hinde’s series of famous postcards and iconic images of Ireland years ago as inspiration, Irish holidaymakers and visiting tourists are invited to submit an image of Ireland’s beautiful landscape that characterises the country’s tourism qualities.
Irishman Ken Sheridan, from Trim, Co. Meath, won last year’s competition. His photograph, entitled ‘Under Construction’, beat thousands of amateur tourist photographer entries from around the world.
Entries to the Awards can be made online by visiting www.goireland.com/photo_comp/Enter.htm. Further information on the Awards is available by e-mailing email@example.com. The closing date for entries is Friday, 14th September 2007.
The winning photograph voted the GoIreland.com Photography Awards Icon 2007 will become part of history by being reproduced as an original postcard by the John Hinde Company and distributed throughout the country. The overall winning photograph will also earn the winning amateur a luxury holiday in Ireland with flights, hotel accommodation and car rental included. A selection of short breaks will be awarded to the two runners-up.
GoIreland.com, the most booked Gulliver-powered tourist website in 2006, also reported almost 22,500 tourism bookings for the first half of 2007. The online bookings, representing over 118,500 bednights, were valued at more than Euro 4.7 million.
The company revealed that Irish holidaymakers made more online bookings through GoIreland.com (42 per cent) than any other tourist nationality. This is the highest level of domestic online bookings recorded ever. UK (18 per cent) and US (14 per cent) tourists were second and third respectively for online Irish bookings.
Visitors from Northern Ireland, France, Australia, Scotland, Germany, Canada and Italy also featured in the Top 10. Online bookers are also increasingly visiting Ireland from countries further afield such as Ghana, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Puerto Rico.
The hotel sector secured more than half (52 per cent) of all online bookings through GoIreland.com to date this year. 33 per cent of all online bookings were for B&Bs. GoIreland.com receives more than 60,000 unique visitors each week.
Speaking at the launch of the Awards, the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Séamus Brennan T.D. said, “Ireland has come a long way as an economy and as a tourist destination since the original publication of John Hinde’s images back in 1963. Ireland is continuing to solidly develop its standing and performance in the increasingly competitive international tourism market with more than 7 million visitors coming to our shores last year.
“The challenge ahead is to continue to offer a tourism product that makes Ireland an attractive and inviting place to holiday and that is why the GoIreland.com Photography Awards are so valuable on several fronts. The Awards present Irish and visiting holidaymakers with the opportunity to capture the captivating beauty and uniqueness of our landscape, which continues to be one of the primary reasons why people return again and again to holiday in Ireland. The Awards will also provide the tourism industry with valuable feedback on perceptions and images of Ireland at home and around the world,” added Minister Brennan.
Speaking at the launch event, Gulliver Ireland’s Chairman, Dick Spring said, “Promoting Ireland and its tourism qualities in today’s increasingly competitive tourism environment is more important than ever. The Photography Awards is one way of encouraging Irish and visiting tourists to reflect on what makes Ireland the fantastic tourism location that it is. This year’s theme is Ireland’s beautiful landscape and we look forward to viewing the many entries that will be taken around the country this year.”
John Hinde Ireland’s Sales Director, John McCreery, said, “John Hinde are delighted to be associated with GoIreland.com for another year of the photography competition. In a rapidly changing Ireland, it always exciting to discover how our country is perceived through the eyes of the participants, both Irish and visitors. Based on previous years it will be another big challenge for the judges.”
For further information, please contact:
Mairead Healy, Marketing Manager, Gulliver Ireland
Telephone: (066) 9792112
Barry Ahern, Business Management Communications
Telephone: (01) 4830832/ (087) 6683574
Notes to Editors:
Photographs from the launch photocall and images of the original John Hinde postcards are available upon request.
Gulliver Ireland and GoIreland.com
Gulliver Ireland is Ireland’s leading cost effective provider of reservations and tourism information and is part of FEXCO AllTravel. The original Gulliver system was developed by Bord Fáilte and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Following a partnership agreement in 1997, FEXCO acquired a majority shareholding in Gulliver and since July 2004 is the 100 per cent owner of Gulliver Ireland.
Since 1997 a significant investment has transformed the Gulliver database as Ireland’s destination management system and one of the leading systems of its kind in Europe. The company’s destination management system operates an advanced and comprehensive tourism database that provides an information and reservation service for Irish tourism products and services.
GoIreland.com, Ireland’s leading tourism portal and owned by Gulliver Ireland, offers users a comprehensive Irish travel information resource and wide choice of the best value-for-money deals in accommodation and car hire packages. More than 60,000 weekly unique site visitors are received and it was the most booked Gulliver-powered website in 2006.
FEXCO is a global payments company headquartered in Kerry, Ireland with operations in Ireland, the UK, Spain, Scandinavia, Malta, Dubai, Australia and USA. The company was established in 1981 by its Executive Chairman, Brian McCarthy, and offers a range of Global Consumer Payments, Global Corporate Payments and Business Services. The company is privately owned with Western Union, a worldwide leader in money transfer, holding a minority shareholding in the business.