Ten top travel agents from Germany visited Galway and Connemara over the weekend, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Aer Lingus. They were invited to take part in the fact-finding visit around Co Galway, having completed Tourism Ireland’s 2013 e-learning training programme for German travel agents, which is designed to help them sell holidays to Ireland.
The group’s itinerary – designed by Fáilte Ireland – included a visit to Killary Sheep Farm near Leenane, a walking tour of Killary Harbour and Famine Village, a wonderful 90-minute cruise in the fjord from Ross Row Pier and a tour of Kylemore Abbey. The travel agents also visited Galway city, where they enjoyed a walking tour; and Ardrahan where they visited Rathbaun Farm. They stayed in Delphi Lodge and the Clifden Station House Hotel and dined at Marconi’s Restaurant in Clifden and McCambridge’s Restaurant on Shop Street in Galway.
Zoë Redmond, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Central Europe, said: “As a reward for completing their e-training on selling Ireland, this group of travel agents got to visit Galway and Connemara, to enjoy our spectacular scenery and some of our popular visitor attractions. Their visit was also a fantastic opportunity to introduce them to the Wild Atlantic Way – Ireland’s first long-distance touring route stretching all the way from Donegal to Cork. We believe this exciting new tourism experience has great potential in the German market, where the west coast of Ireland is already so popular.
“Familiarisation trips such as this are really important, as influential travel agents get to experience at first-hand what’s on offer in this part of Ireland for German holidaymakers; our aim is that when they return home to Germany, the travel agents will be even more enthusiastic about the destination and much better equipped to advise their clients when planning and booking their holidays."
According to the latest CSO figures, visitor numbers from Germany have grown by almost +7% for the high season months of July-September, when compared with the same three-month period in 2012.
German travel agents at Rathbaun Farm, Ardrahan, Co Galway, with Rose O’Donnell, Tourism Ireland (fifth left).
Further media information:
Brian Swift, 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 2012, 7.4 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.51 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, currently rolling out in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, consisting of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country; Tourism Ireland has undertaken an extensive programme of promotions to highlight The Gathering Ireland 2013 around the world, working closely with the Gathering project team.