Ten top travel agents from New Zealand visited Ireland this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Emirates. The group was here on a fact-finding trip, to sample at first-hand our superb holiday experience.
Their itinerary took in Dublin – including the Dublin Ghostbus tour, a visit to the Guinness Storehouse and the Book of Kells at Trinity College, as well as an evening at the Irish House Party on Francis Street; Offaly – with visits to the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre and Clonmacnoise; Galway – including Cnoc Suain in Spiddal; and Co Clare – with a guided tour of Doolin Cave and a visit to the Cliffs of Moher.
Darragh Walshe, Tourism Ireland’s manager in New Zealand, said: “We are delighted that these travel agents have taken time out from their busy schedules to come so far to visit Ireland. For many, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our wonderful scenery, the variety of things to see and do 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 holidaymakers from New Zealand; the aim is to really enthuse them about the destination, so that when they return home, they are better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans.”
2012 was a record year for visitor numbers from Ireland’s long-haul markets. And indications for 2013 are also positive. According to the latest CSO figures, visitor numbers from Australia and developing markets (including New Zealand) have grown by +6.9% YTD, when compared to the same period in 2012.
New Zealand travel agents in Dublin including (standing, l-r) Karen Bowring, Globe Travel, Auckland; Louise Bell, APX , Auckland; Jacqui Harmon, United Travel, Ferrymead; Mary Galway, Tourism Ireland; and Morgan Wright, House of Travel, Botany; and (front, l-r) Holly Snell, Kemp House of Travel, Timaru; Lynda Tudor, Emirates; Vicky Reardon, Kate Smyth House of Travel, Taupo; Leonie Paul , House of Travel, Rotorua; Paul Read, House of Travel, Dunedin; and Pia Lemin, Laker House of Travel, Invercargill.
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.