A group of influential tour operators based in Britain visited Wicklow this week, as part of a fact-finding visit hosted by Tourism Ireland.
The group was made up of key decision-makers who are responsible for putting in place the arrangements for holidaymakers to Britain and Ireland from all over the world. Their visit was organised with the aim of growing the island of Ireland’s share of the huge worldwide tourism market. It was an excellent opportunity to showcase the wonderful tourism product on offer in this part of Ireland – including Russborough House, Glendalough, Avoca and Powerscourt House and Gardens – and to encourage the tour operators to include Wicklow and the island of Ireland in their future holiday programmes. Assistance with arrangements on the ground in Ireland for the trip was provided by Fáilte Ireland.
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Australia & Developing Markets, said: “We are delighted that so many of these leading GB-based incoming operators have taken the time to visit Wicklow and Ireland this week. For many, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our spectacular scenery, the wealth of historic attractions, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met.
“Familiarisation visits such as these are extremely important as they help the tour operators to know exactly what we have to offer potential holidaymakers; the aim is that when they return to work, they are better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans and trip bookings. In this difficult year for tourism, we are working hard to win business and to keep Wicklow and the island of Ireland ‘top of mind’ with potential overseas visitors.”
A group of influential tour operators based in Britain are pictured at Russborough House, Blessington, with Susan Byrne, Tourism Ireland (fourth from left).
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For further information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027
Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• 7.6 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2009, delivering revenue of €3.46 billion.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 41 different websites, providing information in 19 different languages covering every continent. In 2009 discoverireland.com attracted a record 13+ million unique visitors, a +34% increase in visits on 2008.