Tourism enterprises from Ireland travelled to Toulouse, to take part in Tourism Ireland’s B2B workshop and networking event, which was attended by about 40 of the leading travel agents based in and around Toulouse, in south west France.
The aim of the workshop was to increase Ireland’s share of the French travel market in 2013 and, in particular, to highlight ease of access to the island of Ireland from this part of France – with direct Aer Lingus flights each week from Toulouse to Dublin. The event provided a valuable opportunity for the participating Irish companies to remind the influential French travel professionals about the many things to see and do right around the island of Ireland and enthuse them about selling the destination to their clients. It was also a fantastic opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight The Gathering Ireland, Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture and the many festivals and events taking place here this year to the French travel agents.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Southern Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of promotional activity under way for 2013, to capitalise on the strong interest here in the island of Ireland and to grow French visitor numbers. This type of workshop – where we talk directly to influential travel agents – provides us with an excellent opportunity to spread the word about all the great things to see and do in Ireland and to raise awareness about the exciting programme of events taking place during 2013, particularly around The Gathering Ireland and Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture. Working with our industry partners, we are highlighting the distinctiveness of a holiday in Ireland, including the great value available and the ease of access from this part of France – with direct Aer Lingus flights from Toulouse to Dublin. Our message for French holidaymakers is that there has never been a better time to visit.”
Mainland Europe – in particular France and Germany – is an increasingly important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and in 2013 Tourism Ireland aims to welcome almost 2.5 million European visitors.