Ten leading travel agents from Germany enjoyed a visit to Ireland last week, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, to check out some of the many things to see and do here and to find out about what’s in store for German holidaymakers during the special year of the Gathering Ireland.
The agents’ itinerary included a performance of traditional Irish music with JIG in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre in Dublin and a musical pub crawl in the city. They visited Brooklodge Hotel & Macreddin Village in Co Wicklow, where they undertook a site inspection of the hotel, as well as a guided tour of Glendalough, followed by a walking tour along the Wicklow Way. In Co Meath, they visited Trim Castle Heritage Centre and Slane Castle and enjoyed a tour of Newgrange and a visit to the Brú na Bóinne visitor centre.
Zoë Redmond, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Central Europe, said: “We are delighted that these travel agents have taken time out from their busy schedules to come and visit Ireland. For many, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our wonderful scenery, the many things to see and do here, 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 German holidaymakers; the aim is that when they return home to Germany they are really enthusiastic about the destination and better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans.
“The agents’ visit was also a wonderful 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 Germany, 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. Given that travel agents and tour operators continue to be the main booking channel for German holidaymakers, this is a very important part of Tourism Ireland’s promotional efforts in Germany.”
Over half the German population takes at least one holiday abroad each year, making Germany the world’s largest outbound travel market. Germany is the third-largest source of visitors for the island of Ireland.