Ireland has been voted the “destination with the highest client satisfaction” in the annual WAVE awards in the US, organised by TravelAge West magazine, beating off strong competition in the same category from other destinations like Britain, Spain, Italy and France.
The gala awards ceremony took place in Beverly Hills, California and was attended by hundreds of travel industry leaders. Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s Executive Vice President United States and Canada, said: “We are delighted that Ireland has been singled out for this award by TravelAge West. Tourism Ireland works closely with travel agents and tour operators across the US – to encourage them to sell more Ireland holidays and to feature more of our tourism products in their brochures and programmes; and it is wonderful for us to know that Ireland has delivered exceptional experiences to their clients.
“We know from the 2010 Fáilte Ireland Visitor Attitude Survey that satisfaction with Ireland was its highest for many years; and that the highest satisfaction rating was from North American visitors, 90% of whom would recommend Ireland for a holiday. And, the CSO figures issued recently for the first quarter of 2011 show growth of almost +12% in visitors from North America, an encouraging basis on which we will build.”
The WAVE awards are presented annually to recognise the most outstanding destinations, tour operators, travel agents, airlines and cruise companies. They are organised by TravelAge West magazine, the leading travel trade publication in the western states of the US. The editors of TravelAge West select the nominees for each category and subsequently open the voting to the magazine’s readers who decide the winners of the WAVE Awards.
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 6.7 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.