Sixteen top US and Canadian travel agents enjoyed a fact-finding visit to Co Clare last week, prior to attending a B2B tourism workshop in Co Kildare. Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland in North America, their itinerary was put together by Fáilte Ireland in conjunction with Shannon Development.
The travel agents – all members of top-producing US and Canadian companies including Blue World Travel, Budget Vacations and American Express Travel – enjoyed a medieval banquet and evening of entertainment at Bunratty Castle and went to see the world-famous Cliffs of Moher. They also visited Doolin, explored the Aillwee Caves and spent time at the Burren Bird of Prey Centre.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Vice-President of Marketing in the United States, said: “We are delighted so many travel agents took time out of their busy schedules to visit Co Clare and the Shannon Region. For many, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our spectacular scenery, the wealth of historic attractions, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met. Familiarisation visits such as these are extremely important as they help the travel agents to know exactly what we have to offer potential American holidaymakers; the aim is that when they return to the US they are better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans and trip bookings.”
North America is a very important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and Tourism Ireland is working closely with its trade and industry partners to deliver a +2% growth in visitors this year. Tourism Ireland has an extensive promotional programme under way right in the US and Canada, with a range of extensive campaigns providing compelling reasons to visit and emphasising the convenience and value of a holiday here. The message for Americans is that there has never been a better time to visit the island of Ireland.
Leading American travel agents outside the Aillwee Cave near Ballyvaughan, Co Clare with Eileen Power, Tourism Ireland (fourth from left).
For further press information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027