27 Sep 2011

Ten leading travel agents from across Germany enjoyed a visit to Co Offaly recently. Their fact-finding trip to Ireland was part of Tourism Ireland’s European E-learning online training programme for German travel agents, designed to help them sell holidays to the island of Ireland. Each year, the top-performing travel agents are selected to visit Ireland on completion of their training.

Invited here by Tourism Ireland in Frankfurt, the travel agents’ itinerary was designed by Fáilte Ireland. The group began their trip with a tour of the historic Clonmacnoise monastic site and also visited Birr Castle, where they enjoyed a tour of the science centre and the gardens.

Tina Gauges, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Central Europe, said: “As a reward for excelling in their training on selling the island of Ireland, this group of travel agents got to visit some of Offaly’s most popular visitor attractions. Familiarisation trips such as this are vital, as influential travel agents get to experience at first-hand the superb tourism product on offer in this part of Ireland; our aim is that when they return home, the travel agents will be better equipped to advise their clients when planning and booking their holidays.

“Germany is an important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and Tourism Ireland has a busy promotional programme in place to grow tourism from this market for 2011, highlighting the island of Ireland as a fantastic holiday destination. The recently announced growth in visitor numbers from Germany of over +15% for the first half of the year is welcome news indeed and is an encouraging basis on which Tourism Ireland, together with our industry partners, will build for the rest of 2011 and into 2012.”

Now in its second year, Tourism Ireland’s European E-Learning online training kicked off in February of this year, with almost 900 travel agents from around Germany taking part to date.

                                                                                                                        German travel agents at Clonmacnoise with Ruth Ticu, Tourism Ireland Germany (second from right).


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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