Brendan Griffin, Minister of State for Tourism & Sport, Government of Ireland Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport

May 1, 2019
Interviews

Name: Brendan Griffin
Title: Minister of State for Tourism & Sport
Company, city: Government of Ireland Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport; Dublin, Ireland
Recent project: Tourism Ireland recently launched a new brand advertising campaign, “Fill Your Heart with Ireland,” to inspire Americans to put Ireland on their vacation destination list.
First job: I was a porter at age 15 at a 5-star hotel in Killarney, my summer job
Little-known fact about you: I am a writer; I have self-published two books of fiction for children and have one planned for adults.

Your Business

What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? We want to inspire more people to visit Ireland outside of the peak season and explore all corners of the island. We need to drive the extra mile to appeal to different dimensions of travel.

Best career advice you’ve received: Work hard and make yourself available — this is the way you will encounter luck.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? Don’t give up. I lost my first election; you have to dust off and keep going.

Brendan Griffin as a Traveler

Favorite travel memory or story: Going on holiday in West Cork with my children; it’s only a two-mile drive but is relaxing and good to disconnect. While traveling to Inishbofin Island off Galway, my wife inspired me to start writing again.

One travel tip you cannot live without: Pack lightly. When I was a porter I sometimes saw three suitcases for just one week of travel.

About Ireland

What do you think draws visitors to Ireland now?
More than 2 million North Americans visited Ireland in 2018, 14 percent more than in the previous year. These travelers want to see the beautiful scenery, meet the warm and welcoming people, experience the culture and enjoy the rich heritage.

Tell our readers about visiting movie and television filming locations in Ireland.
Our collaboration with the “May the 4th” locations for Star Wars, such as The Skellig Michael (the rock where Luke Skywalker camped out), and the Game of Thrones locations near the Giant’s Causeway offer great attractions. My father worked on the set of Ryan’s Daughter, driving the actors to and from locations, so we have a long history of filming locations.

What does Ireland offer luxury travelers?
We have a vast array of great hotels and world attractions, including Ashford Castle and Adare Manor, recently voted Best Luxury Hotel in the World by Virtuoso. Ireland has one-third of the world links golf courses, and we have temperate weather where you can play golf and sports year-round. Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland will host The 148th Open this July.

What would you say to people considering Ireland for a vacation?
I would say there’s never been a better time to visit Ireland, and with 18 direct gateways, it’s never been easier to get here! People look for unique and authentic experiences, and Ireland has plenty to offer — truly something for everyone.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Feature
Oct 20, 2019

PHL Receives Grant for SEPTA Improvement

Philadelphia International Airport received two grants from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for platform improvements at SEPTA’s Airport Regional Rail Line stops.

Thessaloniki: Culture, Good Food and Shopping

Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.

Feature
Oct 20, 2019

Lyft Trials Car Rental Service

Lyft is looking to get into the car rental business. The ride-hailing company is testing the service in three California cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oakland.

News
Oct 20, 2019

Six Senses Opens on the Bosphorus Strait

Six Senses Kocataş Mansions opened late last month along the Bosphorus Strait. The property is housed within two restored, Ottoman-era mansions in Istanbul. The resort’s urban decor incorporates architectural features and artifacts from the mansions.

Your Home Away From Home

Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.

Daily
Oct 20, 2019

New Cruise Line Docks in Tampa

MSC Cruises, the world’s fastest-growing and fourth-largest cruise line, launches cruises from Tampa Nov. 11, 2020. MSC Armonia will sail from Tampa to the Caribbean, Mexico and the Bahamas.

News
Oct 18, 2019

IHG Signs New InterContinental Property in Saudi Arabia

InterContinental Hotels Group expands its footprint in Saudi Arabia with plans for the new InterContinental Durrat Al Riyadh. The property opens in 2020, a short drive from King Khalid International Airport. The property is also near King Abdullah Financial District and many luxury shopping options.

A Lighter Footprint

United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.

Feature
Oct 18, 2019

Heathrow Project Would Turn Waste Into Furniture, Uniforms

Heathrow Airport is testing new technology that could help recycle all of its plastic waste into uniforms and furniture.