Ten leading travel agents from Germany enjoyed a visit to Ireland last week, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, to check out some of the many things to see and do here and to find out about what’s in store for German holidaymakers during the special year of ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’.
The agents’ itinerary included a performance of traditional Irish music with JIG in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre in Dublin and a musical pub crawl in the city. They visited Brooklodge Hotel & Macreddin Village in Co Wicklow, where they undertook a site inspection of the hotel, as well as a guided tour of Glendalough, followed by a walking tour along the Wicklow Way. In Co Meath, they visited Trim Castle Heritage Centre and Slane Castle and enjoyed a tour of Newgrange and a visit to the Brú na Bóinne visitor centre.
Zoë Redmond, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Central Europe, said: “We are delighted that these travel agents have taken time out from their busy schedules to come and visit Ireland. For many, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our wonderful scenery, the many things to see and do here, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met. Familiarisation visits such as these are extremely important as they help the travel agents to know exactly what we have to offer potential German holidaymakers; the aim is that when they return home to Germany they are really enthusiastic about the destination and better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans.
“The agents’ visit was also a wonderful opportunity to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ and the fantastic programme of events planned for next year. This autumn, Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotions in Germany, and elsewhere around the world, to highlight ‘The Gathering’. As well as directly targeting the Diaspora and those with a connection to Ireland, Tourism Ireland is also working closely with influential travel agents, so that they will encourage their clients to come here next year to enjoy the festivals and events of ‘The Gathering’. Given that travel agents and tour operators continue to be the main booking channel for German holidaymakers, this is a very important part of Tourism Ireland’s promotional efforts in Germany.”
Over half the German population takes at least one holiday abroad each year, making Germany the world’s largest outbound travel market. Germany is the third-largest source of visitors for the island of Ireland.
German travel agents at Trim Castle in Co Meath, with Julie O’Connell, Tourism Ireland (left).
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.