Tourism operators from around Ireland travelled to Great Britain to join Tourism Ireland at the ‘Best of Britain and Ireland’ (BoBI) travel trade exhibition, which took place at the NEC in Birmingham.
BoBI is the premier, annual event for the travel trade in Britain, attracting over 2,000 influential coach tour operators, group travel organisers and educational travel organisers. The two-day showcase provided a valuable opportunity for the participating Irish companies to network and do business face-to-face with key GB decision-makers. The objective was to encourage them to introduce Ireland into their programmes or brochures for 2013, or to extend the programmes in which Ireland already features. The Gathering Ireland 2013, and the many festivals and events taking place here this year, was a major focus for Tourism Ireland at this year’s BoBI.
Vanessa Markey, head of Tourism Ireland in Great Britain, said: “Great Britain is our largest and most important tourism market, delivering almost half of all our total overseas visitors. Tourism Ireland is rolling out the new ‘GB Path to Growth’ strategy, which aims to return this all-important market to sustained growth. We are targeting new groups that are receptive to the type of experience the island of Ireland can offer and raising awareness of the many things to see and do here – underpinned by a strong value message.
“Our presence at this year’s BoBI was also a fantastic opportunity to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’. As well as directly targeting the Diaspora and those with a connection to Ireland, Tourism Ireland is also working closely with intermediaries like influential tour operators, to enthuse them about the destination, so that they will encourage their clients to come here this year to enjoy the many festivals and events of ‘The Gathering’.”
Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of promotions targeting the British travel trade right throughout 2013 – including familiarisation visits to Ireland and workshops for influential group and coach operators, an extensive training programme for up to 1,000 Ireland-specialist travel agents, as well as advertising in selected travel trade press.
Noel Ryan, Kerry Airport; Simon Gregory, Tourism Ireland; Gretel O’Sullivan, Destination Killarney; Minister for Health James Reilly TD; and Fallon Clifford, Killarney Hotels, at the 'Best of Britain & Ireland' B2B trade fair in Birmingham.
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.