A group of top US travel agents enjoyed a fact-finding visit to Kerry and the South West this week, prior to attending a B2B tourism workshop in Dromoland Castle in Co Clare. Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland in New York, their itinerary was put together by Fáilte Ireland.
The travel agents – all members of the top-producing US travel agencies including names like Ensemble, Virtuoso and Signature Vacations – took a jaunting car ride through the National Park to Ross Castle and then a boat trip on Lough Leane. They also enjoyed a guided tour of Muckross House and travelled around the world-famous Ring of Kerry, stopping en route in Waterville and Kenmare.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Vice-President of Marketing in the United States, said: “We are delighted so many of these leading travel agents took time out of their busy schedules to visit Killarney and the South West. 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 travel agents to know exactly what we have to offer potential American holidaymakers; the aim is that when they return to the US they are better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans and trip bookings.
“The US and Canada are important tourism markets for the island of Ireland and Tourism Ireland has a strong and comprehensive promotional programme under way right now. We are actively responding to the current difficult trading conditions by communicating strongly that the island of Ireland is a great place to visit, is easily accessible and offers tremendous value for money.”
Leading US travel agents at the Killarney Park Hotel get ready to enjoy a tour of the Ring of Kerry with Hillarie McGuinness, Tourism Ireland (back row, centre).
For further press 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.