Nine tourism enterprises from around the island of Ireland travelled to California last week, to take part in Tourism Ireland’s final ‘Jump into Ireland’ sales blitz of 2013, which took place in the cities of San Diego and Santa Barbara. Altogether, the ‘Jump’ sales blitzes have targeted about 1,500 travel agents throughout 2013, in nine key cities in the all-important North American market.
With a new Aer Lingus service from San Francisco to Dublin due to commence next spring – making it much easier for Californians to get to Ireland – this was perfect timing to target the influential travel agents, reminding them why Ireland is such a great vacation choice for their clients in 2014. The busy schedule in San Diego and Santa Barbara included interactive presentations with a ‘virtual tour’ of Ireland, as well as networking with the influential travel agents and journalists in attendance.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “The new flight between San Franciso and Dublin is excellent news for Irish tourism and we look forward to working with Aer Lingus, as well as with the influential travel trade on the west coast of the United States, to drive demand for the service. North America is an extremely important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and 2013 is shaping up to be a record year – with the latest CSO figures, to the end of September, showing North American visitor numbers up almost +15% on the same nine-month period last year. Our ‘Jump into Ireland’ sales events, where we talk directly to travel agents and influential media, and tell them what makes the island of Ireland such a fantastic vacation destination, are an excellent opportunity to build on this momentum and grow business further from the US in 2014.”
Tourism Ireland has had a busy programme of promotional activity in place to target the American travel trade right throughout 2013 – including familiarisation visits to Ireland, workshops, travel agent training and webinars, as well as the ‘Jump into Ireland’ series of sales blitzes.
Niamh Burns, Killarney Park Hotel; Liz Godfrey, Adare Manor; and Marie Slattery, Shannon Heritage, during Tourism Ireland’s ‘Jump into Ireland’ sales blitz in San Diego.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 087-685 9027
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.