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05 Nov 2012

Ireland’s tourism drive for 2013 kicks off at world’s largest travel fair

Major focus on The Gathering at World Travel Market in London

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring joined Tourism Ireland and tourism enterprises from across the island of Ireland today, at World Travel Market (WTM) in London, heralding the start of the promotional drive for the 2013 season. 

Now in its 33rd year, World Travel Market is the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar, with almost 50,000 representatives of the industry from around the world and 3,000 influential international media in attendance. According to the organisers of WTM, about £1.6 billion’s worth of business was transacted at the event last year. This year, 68 Irish tourism enterprises – including hotels, ferry companies, visitor attractions, coach hire companies, incoming tour operators, hostels and activity providers – are exhibiting at the Tourism Ireland stand, which provides an invaluable platform for the participating companies to network, negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2013.  

With more than 200 countries all vying for business at WTM this week, Tourism Ireland aims to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the influential global media and travel trade in attendance. The Gathering, the biggest and most ambitious tourism-led event ever held in Ireland, will be the highlight of next year and there is a major focus on The Gathering on the Tourism Ireland stand at this year’s World Travel Market. 

Speaking in London at WTM, Minister Michael Ring said: “This is one of the most important events for promoting Ireland to the global tourism trade. It’s a great opportunity to promote The Gathering Ireland and encourage more tourism operators to include Ireland in their itineraries as a destination. Although visitor numbers to Ireland from Europe and further afield are growing, the British market remains disappointing. That’s why I will be focusing on Britain in particular at the World Travel Market, and building on the new GB tourism strategy produced recently by the Irish tourism industry.”

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The large representation of our industry partners on the Tourism Ireland stand at WTM this year is extremely welcome and essential in the highly competitive global marketplace. 

“2011 has seen a welcome return to growth in visitors to Ireland from markets like North America – where we might be in for a record year in 2012 – Mainland Europe and long-haul markets. However, the British market is still proving difficult, with a slow and uncertain economic recovery and weak consumer confidence having a significant impact on outbound travel. But I am pleased to say that Tourism Ireland, working with Fáilte Ireland, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and other key tourism players, has collaborated on a significant and exciting new strategy for GB. I am confident that this new plan – called ‘GB Path to Growth’ – will help us restore this all-important market to growth.  

“Right now, we are preparing for a very special year in 2013 with The Gathering, the biggest and most ambitious tourism-led event ever held in Ireland, which will provide fresh and compelling reasons for people in GB and across the world to visit. At the end of this month, we will outline our plans for 2013, when we will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that the island of Ireland increases its share of the global travel business.” 

Notes To Editors



  • 32CC/Irish Coaches/Hello Ireland Tours
  • Abbey Tours
  • Ashling Hotel
  • Atlantic Hospitality Services
  • Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau
  • Best Western Ireland
  • Brennan Hotel Group
  • Camden Court Hotel
  • Carlton Hotel Galway 
  • Carlton Hotel Group
  • Castle Leslie Estate
  • Castle Oaks House Hotel
  • Causeway Coast & Glens
  • Celtic Group Hostels
  • Choice Hotels Ireland
  • CIE Tours International
  • Croke Park Hotel & Conference Centre
  • Cronins Coaches Ltd
  • Culture & Heritage Tours
  • Culture Company 2013 (Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013)
  • Customer Survey Technologies International
  • Dalata Hotel Group 
  • Derry Visitor & Convention Bureau
  • Destination Killarney
  • Dublin Bus Sightseeing Tours
  • Experience Gaelic Games
  • Extreme Ireland
  • Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism
  • Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel
  • Great National Hotels
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Hilton Dublin Kilmainham
  • IHF South East
  • Ltd
  • Irish Welcome Tours
  • Killarney Hotels Ltd
  • Killary Cruises & Liffey River Cruises
  • Killashee House Hotel
  • Knock Shrine Pilgrimages
  • Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden
  • Lee Hotels, Mespil & Sligo Park Hotel
  • Manor House Hotels & Irish Country Hotels
  • M.B.A. & Ireland’s Choice
  • McWilliam Park Hotel
  • Moloney & Kelly Travel
  • Muckross Park Hotel
  • National Museums Northern Ireland
  • Paddywagon Tours
  • Prem Group Hotels
  • Railtours Ireland First Class
  • Regency Hotel Group
  • Select Hotels of Ireland
  • Shannon Ferries
  • Shannon Heritage
  • Sligo Park Hotel
  • South West Walks Ireland
  • SRC Hotels Ireland
  • Stena Line Ltd
  • Taylors Three Rock
  • Temple Bar Hotel
  • The g Hotel
  • The Merchant Hotel
  • The Morrison hotel
  • Tifco Hotels Ireland
  • Travelodge Ireland
  • Visit Dublin
  • Visit Waterford
  • Whites Hotel Group/Irish & English Tours