Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland invited ten leading tour operators from India to visit the Shannon region this week – to attend a B2B workshop with tourism providers from across the island of Ireland in Limerick and to take part in a fact-finding visit in Co Clare, to experience some of the many things to see and do in this part of Ireland for Indian holidaymakers.
During their time here, the tour operators enjoyed a visit to the Cliffs of Moher, explored the Aillwee Caves and Birds of Prey Centre and took a guided tour of Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Their itinerary also included some time at Dromoland Castle, where they tried their hand at a range of activities, including clay pigeon shooting, archery and falconry.
Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Asia, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring these influential tour operators to Co Clare, so they can experience for themselves the high standard and variety of the tourism product on offer in this part of Ireland for Indian holidaymakers. The majority of our overseas visitors are from the core tourism markets of Great Britain, Mainland Europe and North America, and while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by emerging tourism markets in Asia like India. Since the visa waiver scheme was introduced by the Government last year, many Indian tour operators are programming Ireland for the first time in 2012, on the back of the new arrangements.”
With offices in Mumbai and Delhi, Tourism Ireland’s programme of promotional activity in India involves co-operative campaigns with airlines and influential tour operators, to ensure Ireland features prominently in itineraries and travel brochures; hosting familiarisation visits for travel agents and tour operators around the island of Ireland; as well as working closely with travel and lifestyle journalists, to ensure the island of Ireland features extensively in the media in India.
Indian tour operators at the Cliffs of Moher with Evelyn Vaz, Tourism Ireland (third right); tour guide Ken McElroy (second right); and Karen Goggin, Fáilte Ireland (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.
• In 2011, approximately 7.3 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland (+4% on 2010), delivering revenue of approximately €3.4 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 2011, discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ will be Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative and will consist of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country.
• Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world this autumn, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.