Tourism representatives from around the island of Ireland hit the road in Australia and New Zealand recently, for an eight-day blitz of both countries, promoting the island of Ireland as a top holiday destination. They met with hundreds of travel agents and tour operators in the cities of Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. This was the bi-annual Trade Mission to Australia and New Zealand, led by Tourism Ireland.
Over 500 travel agents from around Australia and New Zealand heard all about the island of Ireland and what it can offer potential holidaymakers from “Down Under” during specially tailored business-to-business workshop sessions. Companies who flew out to participate in the blitz included Dublin Tourism; Aer Lingus; Railtours Ireland; Island Ferries; Jameson Distillery Tours; Manor House Hotels & Irish Country Hotels; County Car Rentals; Town & Country Homes and Irish Farmhouse Holidays.
The theme of this year’s Trade Mission was the people of the island of Ireland; it focused on the charm, wit, craic and friendliness of the characters that visitors meet during a holiday here. This ties in very much with Tourism Ireland’s new €50 million global advertising campaign which was previewed last week; the new campaign highlights the “character and characters” of the island of Ireland, celebrating not just what the island of Ireland has to offer but also the people who make it such a unique tourist destination.
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland, said: “Australia and New Zealand are important markets for tourism to the island of Ireland. Last year, we welcomed a record 167,000 visitors from both countries, an increase of +10% on the previous year. This type of trade mission, where we talk directly to influential travel agents and tell them what makes the island of Ireland such a fantastic holiday destination, provides us with an excellent opportunity to grow business further from these markets.”
At each event during the eight-day trade mission, there were lots of prizes up for grabs and two lucky travel agents in each city also had the chance to win a dream trip to Ireland in 2009. Etihad Airways was a sponsor of the trade mission.
Tourism industry representatives from around the island of Ireland, at the Sydney Harbour Bridge, during the recent Tourism Ireland Trade Mission to Australia and New Zealand.
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland, tel: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027