Pictured at Tourism Ireland’s recent ‘Flavor of Ireland’ showcase event in Chicago are Jim Kelly, CIE Tours International; Simon Gregory, Tourism Ireland; Jim Deegan, Railtours Ireland; Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland; and Paul Shortall, B&B Ireland.
Tourism operators from around the island of Ireland joined Tourism Ireland in the US, for the first in this year’s series of ‘Flavor’ sales blitzes, which took place in Boston and Chicago. The packed programme of B2B events included sales calls, trade and consumer promotions as well as media networking. This year’s ‘Flavors’ also included an imaginative, interactive ‘virtual’ tour of Ireland for the travel agents attending. The events provided an excellent opportunity for the participants to showcase their product to the hundreds of key decision-makers they met in Boston and Chicago.
Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s Executive Vice President North America, said: “North America is an extremely important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and Tourism Ireland is working hard, together with our industry partners, to return the market to growth in 2011. Our messages include: there has never been a better time to visit the island of Ireland; the welcome for American visitors has never been warmer; there is a superb range of interesting things to see and do including great cultural experiences, events and sporting opportunities; on-the-ground value has never been better; and it has never been easier to get here from US cities.
“Our major promotional campaign around St Patrick’s Day received an important boost with the announcement that President Obama will visit Ireland in May. Other positive factors to build on in 2011 include increased air access; an improved perception of value for money, based on lower prices on the ground in Ireland; and Ireland ranks at number five on Americans’ ‘wish list’ of places to visit in 2011.”
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9028
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 6.6 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.