Industry partners from across the island of Ireland took part in a tourism trade mission to India recently. Organised by Tourism Ireland, the trade mission – which took in the cities of New Delhi and Mumbai – consisted of B2B workshops and presentations, as well as sales calls and meetings with influential Indian tour operators and travel agents.
During the trade mission, face-to-face meetings were conducted with approximately 200 key Indian decision-makers, encouraging them to include the island of Ireland in their future holiday programmes; the mission provided an excellent platform for the participating Irish tourism providers to showcase their product and to communicate what is unique about a holiday on the island of Ireland.
The Irish Ambassador to India, HE Kenneth Thompson, hosted a reception at his residence in New Delhi during the trade mission, which was attended by key decision-makers from the travel industry including 40 CEOs and Managing Directors of India’s leading travel agents and tour operators.
Commenting on the long-term potential and importance of new and developing markets such as India, Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Asia, said: “The majority of overseas tourists to the island of Ireland continue to come from the core markets of GB, Mainland Europe and North America, and while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by the markets in Asia like India.
“Tourism Ireland believes that the Asian outbound travel market is set for significant growth in the coming years. In particular, India offers significant business potential for tourism enterprises around the island of Ireland. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the Asia-Pacific region will be one of the fastest-growing outbound regions, expanding by +6.5% on average over the next 15 years. Visitors from markets like India stay twice as long as the average holidaymaker, are more likely to travel throughout the island and make a significant economic contribution to numerous tourism sectors.”
Attending a trade workshop in Mumbai (l-r) are Claire Bradshaw, Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau; Simon Gregory, Tourism Ireland; Paula Carroll, Ashford Castle, Co Mayo; Patrick O'Flaherty, Ballynahinch Castle, Co Galway; Beena Menon, Tourism Ireland India; Paul O’Neill, CIE Tours International; Gail Mulcahy, Moloney & Kelly Travel; Huzan Fraser, Tourism Ireland India.
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027
Note 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.