Thirty of the top coach tour operators from around Germany visited Ireland over the weekend, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland.
They were here to attend a networking event with Irish tourism suppliers at the d Hotel in Drogheda and to take part in a fact-finding visit – which included tours of Newgrange and Monasterboice, as well as Howth Castle and the National Transport Museum. The visit was organised to encourage these travel decision-makers to feature Ireland as a new destination in their 2014 programmes or to expand their existing programmes with new and inspiring Ireland content.
The visit was also an excellent opportunity for Tourism Ireland to introduce the Wild Atlantic Way to the influential German travel trade. The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s first long-distance touring route – stretching all the way from Donegal to Cork. The route itself will comprise a central spine, together with a series of loops and spurs off it to encourage people to explore all that the west coast has to offer.
Zoe Redmond, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Central Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted that so many of these influential tour operators took time out from their busy schedules to come and visit Ireland. Fact-finding visits like this are an important element of our promotional activity with the German travel trade each year, providing us with an excellent opportunity to showcase Ireland to key travel decision-makers.
“Germany is one of Ireland’s ‘top four’ markets for overseas tourism and the outlook for 2013 is positive, with the latest CSO figures for the June-August period showing growth of almost +12%, when compared with the same three-month period in 2012. Tourism Ireland is rolling out its autumn campaign right now in Germany to keep this momentum going – targeting late-season travellers for city breaks and rural holidays and highlighting what makes a holiday here unique and truly memorable.”
Clare Tuffy, manager of the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre (front, fourth right) welcomes German tour operators and Chris Ruebel, Tourism Ireland (back, second right).
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.