For the second year running, Ireland has been voted the “destination with the highest client satisfaction” at last night’s WAVE awards in the US, beating off strong competition in the same category from other destinations including Great Britain, France, Italy and Greece.
The gala awards ceremony, organised by TravelAge West magazine, took place in Beverly Hills, California, and was attended by hundreds of American travel industry leaders. Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are delighted that Ireland has been singled out for this award by TravelAge West. Tourism Ireland works closely with travel agents and tour operators across the US – to encourage them to sell more Ireland holidays and to feature more of our tourism products in their brochures and programmes; and it is wonderful to know that Ireland continues to deliver exceptional experiences for their clients.
“We know from the 2011 Fáilte Ireland Visitor Attitude Survey that satisfaction with Ireland among departing American visitors is extremely high – particularly in relation to our ‘friendly, hospitable people’, the ‘easy, relaxed pace of life’, our ‘beautiful scenery’ and ‘natural, unspoilt environment’. Last year was one of the strongest years ever for tourism to Ireland from the United States and Tourism Ireland is aiming to make 2012 our best year ever.”
Tourism Ireland has a very busy programme of promotional activity under way in the US, highlighting great value and urging Americans to ‘jump into Ireland’ and to include Ireland in their vacation plans for 2012.
The WAVE (Western Agents Vote of Excellence) awards are presented annually to recognise the most outstanding destinations, tour operators, travel agents, airlines and cruise companies. They are organised by TravelAge West magazine, the leading travel trade publication in the western states of the US. The editors of TravelAge West select the nominees for each category and subsequently open the voting to the magazine’s readers who decide the winners of the WAVE Awards.
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 (+6% 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.