The Gathering in Ireland in 2013 will bring thousands of Irish people from all over the world back to their home land of Ireland.
The Gathering Ireland 2013, sometimes referred to as The Gathering in Ireland is a tourism-led initiative that aims to mobilise the Irish diaspora to return to Ireland during 2013 to be part of specially organised local gatherings and events during the year. It is a Government of Ireland supported initiative driven primarily by Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, and Tourism Ireland; however the concept relies on the grassroots activity of private individuals, and non-governmental organisations. The Gathering is not a single event but rather an initiative that fosters and provides an umbrella framework for a plethora of activities throughout 2013, from family reunions and clan gatherings to sports fixtures. While the initiative is primarily directed at the Irish Diaspora, as well as those with a non-ancestral link to the country, the organisers have stated that the overall experience for the general tourist will be enhanced due to the significantly increased number of events planned throughout the year.
Background: The concept for The Gathering Ireland 2013 first emerged at the 2009 Global Irish Economic Forum held in Farmleigh, Dublin. The Forum had two broad objectives: to examine ways in which Ireland could develop more strategic relationships with its diaspora; and to provide a platform for those living overseas who claim Irish ancestry to contribute to Ireland’s economic recovery. The Gathering Ireland 2013 was seen as an opportunity to address both of these objectives, the latter achieved through additional overseas visitors and tourism revenue which in turn may stimulate job creation.
Irish tourism and The Gathering have received a massive boost from the readers of USA Today. America’s national newspaper has voted Ireland as a dream holiday destination in a new poll. The Emerald Isle features alongside Italy as Ireland throws its doors open to the Diaspora for The Homecoming. USA Today has declared Ireland one of five ‘buzz-worthy destinations’ in 2013 in the survey.
The Gathering marketing campaign promoting thousands of local events in Ireland this year is clearly making an impact. The paper cites The Gathering as a reason for millions of people with Irish ancestry to consider a return to the ‘Auld Sod’.