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By Ryanne Gallagher Johnson

'Ireland is an incredible place to venture to, stretch your legs, and break out of the melancholy of the last couple of years!'

Ireland is once again open and ready for tourists, and the country’s Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media is here to encourage Americans to hop across the pond for a visit once again!

“We are open!” says Catherine Martin, deputy leader of Ireland’s Green Party, and Minister for all things tourist-related and exciting on her recent visit to Chicago and other cities around America. “I’m here launching Ireland’s Green Button Campaign. The clear message is: Press the Green Button. We’re asking our close friends in the U.S. to come visit Ireland again. We are open, our hospitality businesses are open, our restaurants are open, our music scene is back on.”

Thanks in large part to the country’s vaccine program, Ireland is up and running, and people are getting back out and enjoying life’s pleasures.

(L to R): Paula Svedland of Aer Lingus, Avril Winkle; Destination Travel Services, Catherine Martin; Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and Pam Carroll of Gadabout Travel!

“The music has just reopened in the last month, and that’s because of a really successful vaccination rate. 90% of our adult population is fully vaccinated in Ireland. That’s what’s led to this reopening of (the country). If you come to Ireland, you can have the authentic visitor’s experience of attractions, outdoors, food, and our music festivals.”

Whether you’re wanting to enjoy the country’s excellent food and drink, experience the gorgeous landscapes while walking, hiking, or cycling, or enjoy a round of golf on a scenic course, all of your post-pandemic vacation dreams can come true in Ireland.

Golf, in particular, is a big draw for the tourists, and with good reason.

“What a place to play golf in!” Says Martin. “One third of the world’s golf links are in Ireland. In golf rankings recently, we have five of the top ten courses. A lot of them are situated in spectacular places, like Adare, which will be hosting the Ryder Cup in 2027. It’s one of our most beautiful manor house estates, with 840 acres of glorious Irish parkland. And the golf course itself has a reputation for its perfection.”

With the lockdowns and social distancing and everything that has come with the COVID-19 experience, getting out in the fresh air and taking an adventure outside of the U.S. is going to be a huge draw for Americans. Ireland is an incredible place to venture to, stretch your legs, and break out of the melancholy of the last couple of years.

“It is just breathtaking scenery. Really family friendly and safe, and along the coastline is just spectacular. You also have it in Waterford, with the beautiful greenway there, and you can cycle safely along the canal in Dublin. We have the hidden heartlands, the nine counties that hug the river Shannon. Really beautiful boating and hiking opportunities in this area as well. It’s a very unique landscape we have.”

Whatever you’re looking for in a vacation, Ireland has it. And the great news right now is that flights are currently very cheap!

“At the minute, leading airfare rates start at $359 for a direct flight from Chicago to Dublin. From an affordability and convenience point of view, it’s worth booking your ticket now to come to Ireland. There will be a lot of cooperative marketing campaigns between Tourism Ireland and Aer Lingus, Delta, United, and American Airlines. And of course the Tourism Ireland Press the Green Button campaign is a multimedia campaign, so we expect millions of Americans to hear and see and read about the reasons to come to Ireland.”

The U.S. and Ireland have always had a very friendly relationship, especially where tourism is concerned, and they’re eager to get Americans back over there.

“What’s great about visitors that come from the U.S. is that they spend quality time in our country. It’s really quality tourism. When they come to Ireland, they take the opportunity not just to visit what urban Ireland has on offer, but they go into many of the regions, and they get a real flavor and sense of Ireland, and I think that’s why so many of them come back again.

A really important market for us is the U.S. Tourism market and we are welcoming you back with open arms!”

For more information on the Press the Green Button campaign, and to start planning your vacation now, you can visit Ireland.com

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