Leading tour operators and travel writers from seven different countries – including Great Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Australia, Italy and Denmark – visited Galway city and county last week, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and B&B Ireland. They were here to experience at first-hand our unique bed and breakfast offering – the warmth and friendliness of the welcome, the special one-to-one interaction with their hosts and the wonderful home-cooked food which visitors from around the world can enjoy in an Irish B&B. They also had the chance to sample some of the many things to see and do in this part of Ireland during their time here.
The tour operators and journalists were hosted by some of Galway’s finest B&Bs – including The Connaught B&B and Kilbrack House in Salthill and Abbey View at Bushy Park.
Siobhán McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s head of co-operative marketing, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of tour operators and journalists to Galway, to give them a taste of the authentic, world-class hospitality on offer in the B&Bs in this part of Ireland. For many of the group, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by the high standard of accommodation and food, the variety of things to see and do here, as well as by the friendliness of the people they met. Fact-finding visits such as this are an important part of our work with the travel trade and travel media around the world, helping to build awareness of the destination and our wonderful tourism product among key decision-makers and influencers.”
The group enjoyed a guided walking tour of Galway city, followed by dinner at Ard Bia at Nimmos restaurant at the Spanish Arch. They also visited Kylemore Abbey and Gardens; in Ballyconneely, they sampled some fresh, locally caught fish at the Connemara Smokehouse and some of the group played a round of golf on the famous Connemara championship links.
Caroline Larkin, owner of Kilbrack House B&B in Salthill (fourth left), and Christina Walsh, Fáilte Ireland (fourth right), welcomed international tour operators and travel writers.
Further media information:
Jasmine O’Brien, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01-476 3425
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, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.