Eight Belgian travel agents visited Ireland this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Abbey Tours and leading Belgian tour operator BelcoTravel & Tours.
The group was here to sample some of the many things to see and do here which appeal to Belgian holidaymakers. Their packed programme included Waterford and a tour of the Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre; Cork, with a visit to the Jameson Experience in Midleton, Blarney Castle and a panoramic tour of Cork city; Ballyown House near Cashel; and the monastic site of Glendalough.
Danielle Neyts, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Belgium, said: “We are delighted to bring this influential group to Ireland, so they can sample the superb tourism experience on offer for Belgian holidaymakers in this part of Ireland. Familiarisation visits like this are an important part of our work with the travel trade in Belgium, helping to build awareness of what’s on offer here among tour operators and travel agents and ensuring they are better equipped to advise their clients on future holiday bookings.”
According to the latest CSO figures (up to the end of August), visitor numbers from the Benelux countries have grown by +11.5% for the first eight months of this year, when compared with the same period in 2012.
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, an estimated 7.27 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 an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.