Twenty-seven top travel agents from around France visited the west of Ireland over the weekend. They were invited to visit having completed Tourism Ireland’s 2013 e-learning training programme for French travel agents, designed to help them sell holidays to the island of Ireland.
The group’s itinerary – designed by Fáilte Ireland – included tours of Kilbeggan Distillery and Athlone Castle in Co Westmeath; a fun “puzzle trail” through the streets of Galway city, a cruise on the Corrib Princess and a guided tour of Kylemore Abbey; as well as a cruise to Cong, Co Mayo, where a specially-commissioned statue to commemorate the characters in The Quiet Man was unveiled.
Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Southern Europe, said: “As a reward for completing their e-training on selling Ireland, this group of travel agents got to visit the west of Ireland, to enjoy our spectacular scenery and some of our most popular visitor attractions. Familiarisation trips such as this are really important, as influential travel agents get to experience at first-hand what’s on offer in this part of Ireland for French holidaymakers; our aim is that when they return home to France, the travel agents will be even more enthusiastic about the destination and much better equipped to advise their clients when planning and booking their holidays.”
France is one of Ireland’s ‘top four’ markets for overseas tourism and Tourism Ireland has a busy promotional programme in place this autumn, showcasing the island of Ireland as a fantastic holiday destination.
French travel agents depart on a cruise of Lough Corrib. They are pictured with Séverine Lecart (eight left) and Marc Faivre (fifth left), both Tourism Ireland; and with Corrib Princess crew members, captain Rory Costelloe (left) and Róisín Sweeney (second left).
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 an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.