Twenty-one leading British coach and group tour operators travelled to Ireland last week, to attend a B2B workshop in Sligo and to take part in a fact-finding visit which also took in counties Donegal and Mayo.
As well as a walking tour of Donegal town, the tour operators paid a visit to Donegal Castle and to the Daniel O’Donnell Visitor Centre in Dungloe and enjoyed a guided walk of the Slieve League Cliffs. Their itinerary also included Mayo, with a tour of Foxford Woollen Mills, a site inspection of the Pontoon Bridge Hotel and a visit to the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life in Turlough Park.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted that so many of these influential coach and group tour operators took time out from their busy schedules to come and visit this part of Ireland. Great Britain is Ireland’s largest and most important tourism market and visits like this provide an excellent opportunity for us to position the island of Ireland as a ‘must-see’ destination. The aim of the trip was to encourage the visiting operators to feature Donegal and Ireland as a new destination in their programmes or to extend the Irish content of their existing programmes.
“The operators’ visit was also a valuable opportunity to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ and the fantastic programme of events planned for next year. This autumn, Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotions in GB, 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 tour operators and travel agents, so that they will encourage their clients to come here next year to enjoy the festivals and events of the Gathering.”