Antoine Plocque, owner of the AC Bristol pictured; HE Geraldine Byrne Nason, Irish Ambassador to France; Serge Fonseca, Tourism Ireland; Caitriona Butler, Irish Ferries; and Jean Pierre Armandet, President of the TTP (Tout Terrain Promotion) Association, at the media launch of the Celtic Classic Rally 2016, which took place at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. (Picture: Tourism Ireland)

A group of classic car enthusiasts from France has been enjoying a week-long touring holiday around Ireland.

They’ve been travelling from east to west and back again, incorporating some of our tourism ‘hotspots’.

Supported by Tourism Ireland and Irish Ferries, the annual ‘Celtic Classic Rally 2016’ came to Ireland for the first time ever and was organised by the TTP (Tout Terrain Promotion) Association.

It saw some 140 classic car enthusiasts and owners undertake the extensive driving tour around Ireland, covering more than 1,600km in 62 classic cars which included Triumphs, Mercedes, Jaguars and Porsches.

On their journey along the Wild Atlantic Way, the 140-strong group enjoyed a visit to Bantry House. They finished their ‘grand tour’ with a farewell meal and overnight stay at the Castlemartyr Spa and Golf Resort.

Elmagh Killeen, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Southern Europe, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Celtic Classic Rally 2016 to Ireland and we wish them a really successful and enjoyable tour, which will be a really great way for them to discover Ireland. Given that car touring visitors tend to stay longer, spend more and are more likely to visit more than one region, Tourism Ireland is actively promoting car touring and longer-stay holidays in France.”

France is one of our top four tourism markets and 2015 was the third consecutive record-breaking year for French visitors to Ireland, delivering about 505,000 visitors (+11% growth on 2014).