14 Oct 2011

A group of leading coach and group tour operators from around Britain followed in the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth II, when they visited the National Stud in Kildare last weekend.

The group was in Ireland to attend a B2B tourism workshop in Johnstown House near Enfield, where they met with local tourism providers, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. Following the workshop, the coach operators took part in a familiarisation trip, which included visits to Newbridge and the National Stud, as well as a ‘film tour’ which took in some of the places where scenes for films Braveheart and Excalibur were shot.

Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted these influential coach and group tour operators have had the opportunity to experience for themselves the high standard and variety of product this part of Ireland has to offer potential British holidaymakers. Great Britain is Ireland’s largest and most important tourism market and visits like this provide an excellent opportunity for us to position the island of Ireland as a ‘must-see’ destination. The aim of the trip was to encourage the visiting operators to feature Co Kildare and Ireland as a new destination in their programmes or to extend the Irish content of their existing programmes.

“Tourism Ireland has an extensive promotional campaign under way right now in Great Britain, highlighting what makes a holiday in the island of Ireland unique and truly memorable. Our message is that there has never been a better time to visit, with great value and terrific things to see and do and these travel organisers have now had the chance to experience this at first-hand.”

Great Britain is the largest single source market for visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering about 45% of all overseas visitors and 35% of overseas tourism revenue.

Frieda O’Connell, Irish National Stud (right) welcomes leading GB coach and group tour operators and Linda Duncan, Tourism Ireland (third from left).


Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland  
Tel: 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.
• Approximately 6.7 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately €3 billion.  Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent.  In 2010 attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.


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