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02 Oct 2012

Cork ‘goes Dutch’ as influential travel agents pay a visit

A group of leading travel agents from the Netherlands visited Co Cork recently, as guests of Tourism Ireland and leading Dutch tour operator Echt Ierland.

The travel agents were here to experience at first-hand some of the many things to see and do here for Dutch holidaymakers. They visited Blarney Castle and Blarney Woollen Mills before travelling on to Cobh, where they visited the Cobh Heritage Centre, and to Kinsale. The agents’ itinerary, designed by Fáilte Ireland, also included some time in West Cork, where they enjoyed visits to the Mizen Head Visitor Centre in Goleen, Bantry House and Garnish Island.

They continued to Co Kerry, visiting Kenmare and travelling from there around the Ring of Kerry, stopping at Staigue Fort and at Kells Bay Gardens. In Killarney, they visited Muckross House and the National Park and dined at the Victoria House Hotel. Then it was on to Co Clare, by ferry from Tarbert to Killimer, to visit the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin Cave and Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.

Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s manager in the Netherlands, said: “We are delighted that these influential travel agents took time out from their busy schedules to come and visit Ireland. Our aim is to enthuse them about the destination, so that when they return to the Netherlands they are better equipped to advise their clients about Ireland when planning and booking their holidays.

“The travel agents’ visit was also a valuable opportunity to highlight the Gathering and the fantastic programme of events planned for next year. This autumn, Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotions in the Netherlands, and elsewhere around the world, to highlight the Gathering. As well as directly targeting the Diaspora and those with a connection to Ireland, Tourism Ireland is also working closely with influential travel agents, so that they will encourage their clients to come here next year to enjoy the festivals and events of the Gathering.”