A group of twelve influential travel agents from South Africa was in Cork recently, on a fact-finding visit organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with Etihad Airways and Infinity Holidays (a South African tour operator).
The agents’ itinerary, which was designed by Fáilte Ireland, took in the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, so the group had the opportunity to experience some of the fantastic sessions and venues around the city. Their itinerary also included a visit to the English Market and lunch at the Farmgate Café. They travelled to Cobh where they visited the Cobh Heritage Centre and to Midleton where they enjoyed a tour of the Jameson Experience.
Major festivals and events, such as the jazz festival in Cork, have excellent potential to attract overseas visitors and Tourism Ireland regularly uses festivals as a ‘hook’ in its extensive range of promotional activities overseas.
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Australia and Developing Markets, commented: ”The Jazz Festival provides a fantastic platform for us to showcase Cork to these influential travel agents and all that the city has to offer as a fun and vibrant destination. Visits such as this are extremely important as they help the agents to know exactly what Cork has to offer potential South African holidaymakers; our aim is that when they return home they are better equipped to advise their clients when planning and booking their holidays.”
Earlier this year, Etihad Airways increased its service between Abu Dhabi and Dublin to ten flights per week, making the island of Ireland more accessible than ever before for visitors from South Afirca, who can transit at Abu Dhabi.
South African travel agents sample the culinary delights of Cork in the city’s English Market.
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 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 42 different websites, providing information in 20 different languages covering every continent. In 2009 discoverireland.com attracted a record 13+ million unique visitors, a +34% increase in visits on 2008.