Senior representatives of some of the top insurance companies in the US enjoyed a fact-finding visit to Co Kerry this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and leading Irish destination management company, Odyssey International.
The group – which included the decision-makers in insurance companies who organise their company’s conferences, meetings and events around the world – was here to discover more about the wonderful meeting facilities and accommodation on offer in Ireland, as well as the great experiences business delegates can enjoy here on the sidelines of their conference or meeting. The visit was also a fantastic opportunity for Tourism Ireland to raise awareness of The Gathering Ireland 2013 among this influential group.
During their time here, the American visitors took in some of Kerry’s superb scenery and visitor attractions, enjoying a trip through the Killarney National Park by jaunting car and a boat trip across Lough Leane to Ross Island. Their itinerary also included a tour of Muckross Traditional Farms, as well as site inspections of the Muckross Park and the Europe Hotels. The American visitors also spent time in Co Clare, where they enjoyed a cruise from Doolin to see the world-famous Cliffs of Moher, as well as a falconry display at Dromoland Castle. Then it was on to the races at Punchestown, followed by an overnight stay in Dublin and a visit to St Patrick’s Cathedral and the Guinness Storehouse.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted that these leading insurance executives took the time to visit Ireland, to experience for themselves some of the superb facilities on offer here. Fact-finding visits such as this are an important part of our promotional programme to build awareness of the destination and our world-class business tourism product among key influencers in the United States.
“The visit of this group was also a wonderful opportunity to highlight the fantastic programme of events taking place here during this special year of The Gathering Ireland. Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way in United States, and elsewhere around the world, to highlight The Gathering. As well as directly targeting the Diaspora and those with a connection to Ireland, we are also working closely with decision-makers involved in the MICE (meetings, incentive, conferences and events) industry, to enthuse them about the destination and encourage them to include the island of Ireland in their 2013 programmes.”
Business tourism is the most lucrative form of tourism, with visitors travelling here for business purposes spending about 2.5 times more than the average visitor. Tourism Ireland’s promotional programme to grow business tourism from the United States this year includes highlighting the superb meetings, incentive and transport infrastructure on offer here, the ease of access from the US to Ireland, as well as the good value rates available for meetings and conferences.
Decision-makers from American insurance companies in Killarney including front (l-r) Priscilla Lozano, NTA Life; Marian Gardiner, Insurance Meeting Network; Marie McKown, Tourism Ireland; Sandy Nommensen, Diamond Residential Mortgage Corp; Kelly Moore, Insphere Insurance Solutions; Sherri Lindenberg, Crump Life Insurance Services; and back (l-r) Janice Quals, Great American Custom Insurance Services; Darlene Catan, Insurance Meeting Network; Cindy Wheaton, Grange Insurance; Kevin Shannon, Odyssey International (Irish destination management company); Jaton Tigrett, NTA Life; Leslie Lambert, Scottsdale Insurance Company; and tour guide Antoinette Mallon.
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 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.