Leading British travel agents – from London, Manchester, Newcastle and Scotland – were in Dublin over the weekend on a fact-finding trip. They were the top-performing agents on Tourism Ireland’s “Shamrock Agents” training programme, designed to help travel agents around Britain sell holidays to Ireland more effectively.
The travel agents’ action-packed visit was organised by Tourism Ireland in London, in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland. During their time here, they tried their hand at hurling and Gaelic football and enjoyed guided tours of the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College and Kilmainham Gaol, as well as a fun Viking Splash Tour.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring these travel agents to Dublin. We believe that it is extremely important for influential decision-makers such as these to experience for themselves the high standard of the tourism product on offer in Dublin, so they can sell more effectively when they return home and encourage more of their customers to come and holiday here.
“Restoring the Great Britain market to growth is a major priority for Tourism Ireland and we have increased our spend in Britain by +30% this year. Our €17 million campaign will ensure the Ireland holiday message is highly visible right throughout 2011. A key element of our promotions will involve enthusing the travel trade in Great Britain – online and traditional travel agents and tour operators – about island of Ireland holidays and ensuring they promote, and pass on to their customers, the good value available here."
Tourism Ireland travel trade promotions this year will include workshops in Ireland for influential group and coach operators; participation in key promotions around Britain; an extensive training programme for up to 1,000 Ireland-specialist travel agents; as well as advertising in selected trade press.
Leading British travel agents visited Na Fianna GAA Club in Dublin, as part of their familiarisation visit to the city, where they tried their hand at hurling and Gaelic football; they are pictured with Gillian Moroney, Tourism Ireland (front right).
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 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.
• Approximately 6.6 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 www.discoverireland.com; there are 45 different websites, providing information in 19 different languages covering every continent. In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.