Travel agents in the Italian cities of Venice and Bologna have been hearing all about the island of Ireland this week – at workshops organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with the local airports and airlines.
The events afforded a valuable opportunity to remind the influential travel agents about the ease of access to Dublin from Venice and Bologna – with Ryanair and Aer Lingus – and to communicate what is special about Ireland as a holiday destination. It was also an excellent platform for Tourism Ireland to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route, as well as the extensive programme of events happening here this year, including the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia and Limerick City of Culture.
Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Italy, said: “This type of event, where we talk directly to influential travel agents in northern Italy, provides Tourism Ireland and our partners with an excellent opportunity to highlight the many great things to see and do on a holiday in Ireland – and to enthuse those travel agents about the destination for 2014 and beyond. Interest in visiting the island of Ireland remains strong, with Italians consistently ranking Ireland in their ‘top ten’ destinations to visit.”
As the island of Ireland gears up for the ‘Big Start’ or Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia 2014, which takes place here 9-11 May, Tourism Ireland in Italy is pulling out all the stops to leverage the tourism potential of this prestigious sporting event for Ireland. An extensive programme of activity includes promotions to influential Italian tour operators and travel agents, PR and publicity activity, print ads in specialist cycling magazines, as well as lots of online activity including social media and email marketing.
As well as ‘Giro’ promotions, Tourism Ireland is undertaking co-op campaigns in Italy with online travel agents like Volagratis, eDreams and Odigeo; and with airlines including Aer Lingus and Ryanair. Social media activity is targeting Tourism Ireland’s more than 125,000 Facebook
fans in Italy – helping to generate positive word-of-mouth about Ireland and peer-to-peer s about the destination.
Delia Dell’Asin, Venice Airport; Clodagh Fitzgerald, Irish Welcome Tours; Lara Roma, Aer Lingus; Marini Massimo, Venice Airport; Siobhán Wright and Niamh Kinsella, both Tourism Ireland; and Francesca Migliori, Abbey Tours, during Tourism Ireland’s workshop for travel agents in Venice.
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 2013, an estimated 8 million overseas visitors will have come to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.64 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.