07 Nov 2011

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar joined Tourism Ireland and tourism enterprises from across the island at World Travel Market (WTM) in London today, heralding the start of the promotional drive for 2012.

Now in its 32nd year, World Travel Market is the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar, with almost 50,000 representatives of the industry from around the world and 3,000 influential international media in attendance.  According to the organisers of WTM, about £1.4 billion’s worth of business was transacted at the event last year.  This year, 66 Irish tourism enterprises – including hotels, ferry companies, visitor attractions, coach hire companies, incoming tour operators, activity providers, hostels and car hire companies – are exhibiting at the Tourism Ireland stand, which provides an invaluable platform for the participating companies to network, negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2012. 

With over 200 countries all vying for business at WTM this week, Tourism Ireland aims to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the influential global media and travel trade in attendance.  Speaking in London at WTM, Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar said: “We need to get the message out that there has never been a better time to visit Ireland.  World Travel Market is a hugely significant event, which also demonstrates just how competitive international tourism has become.  Irish tourism has to fight hard for every bit of business.  That’s why we have to make sure that the world knows about Ireland’s great tourism product and the real value that is now available.
“Thankfully, visitor numbers are growing this year for the first time since 2007, so it looks like we are getting the message out there.  The Irish Government will also continue its commitment to developing tourism and I will work with our tourism agencies to ensure that the upward trend continues into 2012.”

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “The large representation of our industry partners on the Tourism Ireland stand at WTM this year is extremely welcome and essential in the highly competitive global marketplace.  Tourism Ireland has been working hard all year, to keep the island of Ireland ‘top of mind’ for people around the world who can be persuaded to take a holiday or short break overseas. 

“2011 appears to mark a turning point for Irish tourism, with the most recent CSO figures for the first eight months of the year showing a return to growth of +11%, including a particularly welcome growth of over +8% from the all-important Great Britain market.  At the end of this month, we will outline our plans for 2012, when we will be pulling out all the stops to build on this growth and working to ensure that the island of Ireland increases its share of the global travel business.”


Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland  t:  087 685 9027

Notes to Editors:


32CC/ Irish Coaches/ Hello Ireland Tours
Abbey Tours
Ashling Hotel
Avalon House and Kinlay House
Ballyhoura Fáilte Ltd
Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau
Brennan Hotel Group
Camden Court Hotel
Carlton Hotel Group
Cassidys Hotel
Causeway Coast & Glens
Celtic Group Hostels
Choice Hotels Ireland
County Car Rentals
Cronins Coaches Ltd
Culture & Heritage Tours
Dalata Hotel Group
Destination Killarney
Destination South East
Discover Derry~Donegal
Doolin 2 Aran Ferries
Driven Ireland
Dublin Tourism
Extreme Ireland
Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism
Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel
Flynn Hotels
Grand Canal Hotel
Great National Hotels and Resorts
Guinness Storehouse
Hilton Hotel Kilmainham
Ireland’s Blue Book
Irish Ferries
Irish Ltd
Irish Welcome Tours
Killary Cruises & Liffey River Cruises
Knock Shrine Pilgrimages
Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden
Lee Hotels
Limerick Strand Hotel
Manor House Hotels & Irish Country Hotels
M.B.A. & Ireland’s Choice
National Museums Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Hotels Federation
O’Connor Coaches Ltd
Old Jameson Distillery
Prem Hotels Group
Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts
Rathellen House
Regency Hotel Group
Russborough house
Select Hotels of Ireland
Slieve League Cultural Centre
Slieve Russell Hotel
SRC Hotels Ireland
Stena Line
Suirway Bus & Coach Services Ltd
Talbot Hotel Group
Taylors Three Rock
Temple Bar Hotel
Tifco Hotels
Whites Hotel Group of Ireland



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