Twenty-one tourism organisations from around the island of Ireland travelled to Amsterdam recently, to take part in the first ever “Ierland workshop”, organised by Tourism Ireland to increase our share of the Dutch travel market in 2012 and beyond.
The Irish companies met and presented to 60 of the top Dutch tour operators, MICE (meetings, incentive, conferences and events) planners, online travel agents (OTAs) and leading travel media. The objective was to remind these influential Dutch travel professionals about how easy it now is to reach the island of Ireland from the Netherlands and to encourage them to include Ireland in their future holiday programmes.
Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland in the Netherlands, said: “Last year we welcomed about 140,000 Dutch visitors to the island of Ireland. This type of workshop – where we talk directly to influential tour operators and travel agents and tell them was makes the island of Ireland such a fantastic destination – provides us with an excellent opportunity to grow business further in 2012 and beyond. The trend we are seeing in the Netherlands right now is that people are continuing to travel but are taking shorter trips and staying closer to home. Tourism Ireland, together with our industry partners, is working hard to highlight the distinctiveness of a holiday in Ireland, the great value available and the ease of getting there from the Netherlands. Our message for potential Dutch holidaymakers is that there has never been a better time to visit the island of Ireland.”
The Dutch market performed well for tourism to the island of Ireland in 2011, delivering about 140,000 visitors, an increase of +19% on 2010. The average length of stay for Dutch holidaymakers is seven nights. Interest in visiting Ireland is also high in the Netherlands and Dutch visitors tend to come here more than once, with about 36% of Dutch people returning for a second visit.