Tourism Ireland, together with Fáilte Ireland, invited leading UK-based tour operators to visit Ireland this week. The group included representatives of companies like Expedia and Gullivers which are responsible for putting in place the arrangements for holidaymakers to Great Britain and Ireland from all over the world. They were here on a fact-finding visit with the aim of growing Ireland’s share of the huge, worldwide tourism market.
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Australia and developing markets, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring these tour operators to Ireland. Seeing is definitely believing and it is important that influential operators like these get to experience Ireland at first-hand and the high standard of the tourism product on offer here. For many of the tour operators, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our spectacular scenery, the wealth of historic attractions, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met.
“Our autumn campaign is in full swing right now, capitalising on late booking trends as there is still everything to play for. In association with our industry colleagues we have enticing autumn/winter packages to offer consumers, developed around festivals and themes such as food, music, literature and the arts.”
UK-based tour operators at Kilkenny Castle during a fact-finding visit, pictured with Claire Anderson, Tourism Ireland (right).
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 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 6.9 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.