Fifteen top travel agents from around Italy enjoyed an action-packed, four-day trip to Meath, Kildare, Wicklow and Dublin recently. Their fact-finding visit was the grand finale of Tourism Ireland’s Irlanda online training programme for Italian travel agents, designed to help them sell holidays to the island of Ireland. Each year, the top-performing ‘VIPS’ (Very Irish People) are selected to visit Ireland on completion of their training.
Invited here by Tourism Ireland in Milan, the travel agents’ itinerary was designed by Fáilte Ireland. During their time here, the group got to sample some of our top attractions, including a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Newgrange and the Brú Na Bóinne visitor centre.
Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s Manager in Italy, 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 the most popular visitor attractions in Dublin and Dublin’s Doorstep. 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.
“Italy 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 Italy of over +13% 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 in 2012.”
Now in its seventh year, Tourism Ireland’s Irlanda training programme consists of seven different modules about the island of Ireland tourism product; these include Dublin, other cities, fly and drive holidays, accommodation, coach tours, activity products and general information.
Italian travel agents pictured at Newgrange with Siobhán Wright, Tourism Ireland Italy (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 www.discoverireland.com; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent. In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.