A group of influential travel agents from Russia enjoyed a fact-finding trip to Ireland, as guests of Tourism Ireland and leading GB-based inbound tour operator, Camelot Tours. The aim of the visit was to help grow Ireland’s share of the rapidly-growing Russian holiday and business tourism market.
During their time here, the group got to experience at first-hand some of the many things to see and do in Ireland for Russian holidaymakers. Their itinerary included a visit to Malahide Castle and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, the Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle, as well as the Ring of Kerry, Blarney Castle and the Rock of Cashel.
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets, said: “The majority of our overseas visitors come from the core tourism markets of Great Britain, Mainland Europe and North America, and while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by the BRIC countries. Familiarisation trips such as this are very important, as they enthuse the travel agents and tour operators about Ireland and help them to sell the destination more effectively when they return home.
“Since the visa waiver scheme was introduced here by the Government in 2011, there has been an increase in demand by tour operators for Russian visas for Ireland. We believe this market will become increasingly important for the future of the travel and tourism industry generally and will play a greater part in helping us to grow tourism from overseas in 2013 and beyond.”
Tourism Ireland research has shown that the Russian market has limited understanding of what the island of Ireland has to offer as a holiday destination; so a key objective is to begin building awareness in Russia of the many things to see and do on a holiday here. Tourism Ireland’s programme of activity involves working closely with influential tour operators and travel agents, as well as travel media, to increase exposure and demand for holidays to the island of Ireland; and hosting familiarisation visits for Russian travel agents and tour operators around the island of Ireland.
Russian travel agents at the Rock of Cashel with Viktoria Scott, Camelot Tours (front, second left).
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.