Twenty-five influential travel agents from Rome and Milan were in Wexford and the South East last weekend on a fact-finding trip. Their visit was the grand finale of IRE-LOVERS, Tourism Ireland’s online training programme for Italian travel agents on selling holidays to the island of Ireland. Each year, the top travel agents are selected by Tourism Ireland in Milan to come and visit the island of Ireland, once they have completed their training.
The agents’ itinerary, which was designed by Fáilte Ireland, included a tour of Hook Head Lighthouse as well as dinner at Dunbrody House; they also visited the Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross.
Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s Manager in Italy, said: “As a reward for completing their training on selling the island of Ireland, these travel agents have the opportunity to experience the tourism product in Wexford at first-hand. Visits such as this are extremely important as they help the travel agents to know exactly what Wexford has to offer potential Italian holidaymakers; our aim is that when they return home they are better equipped to advise their clients when planning and booking their holidays.
“Italy is an important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and last year we welcomed 276,000 Italian visitors. We have a strong promotional programme in place in Italy right throughout 2010, highlighting the great value on offer as well as compelling reasons to visit. The message in Italy is that there has never been a better, nor better value, time to visit the island of Ireland.”
I Italian travel agents at the Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross with Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland Italy (second from left).
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 41 different websites, providing information in 19 different languages.