A group of leading travel agents from the Netherlands enjoyed an action-packed visit to Galway and Mayo over the weekend, as part of Tourism Ireland’s European online training programme for travel agents, specially designed to help them sell holidays to the island of Ireland. Each year, the top-performing travel agents on the programme are selected to visit Ireland on completion of their training.
Invited here by Tourism Ireland in Amsterdam, the travel agents’ itinerary was designed by Fáilte Ireland. They kicked off their visit with a tour of the Galway City Museum and enjoyed dinner and an overnight stay at the House Hotel in Galway city. As well as a visit to Kylemore Abbey and Gardens, the travel agents went hill-walking at Delphi Mountain Resort in Leenane and enjoyed a tour of the Connemara Heritage and History Centre near Clifden. In Mayo, they cycled along the Great Western Greenway to Achill, where they enjoyed a guided tour of the island, before returning to Westport.
Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s manager in the Netherlands, said: “We are delighted that these travel agents have taken time out from their busy schedules to come and visit the west of Ireland. For many, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by the spectacular scenery, the range of outdoor activities on offer 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 Dutch holidaymakers; the aim is that when they return home to the Netherlands, they are better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans and trip bookings.
“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 the Netherlands, and elsewhere around the world, to highlight ‘The Gathering’.”
Dutch travel agents with Sarah Kenny, Tourism Ireland (right), get ready to take on the Great Western Greenway, Co Mayo.
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.