Tourism operators from around the island of Ireland travelled to Manchester to join Tourism Ireland for ‘Great Days Out’, a business-to-business group travel show which attracts over 1,600 influential coach and group tour operators from around Great Britain each year.
Visitors to the show included GB coach tour operators and group travel organisers – who are responsible for putting in place arrangements for holidays and excursions overseas for groups. The one-day show provided an ideal opportunity for the participating Irish companies to network and do business face-to-face with decision-makers from the important coach and group travel sector in GB; the objective was to encourage them to introduce the island of Ireland to their programmes for 2013, or to extend the programmes in which Ireland already features. The Gathering Ireland, Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture and the many festivals and events taking place here in 2013, were a major focus at this year’s Great Days Out.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’ head of Great Britain, said: “Great Britain is our largest and most important tourism market, delivering almost half of all our overseas visitors. Tourism Ireland is rolling out the new ‘GB Path to Growth’ strategy, which aims to return this all-important market to sustained growth. We are targeting new groups that are receptive to the type of experience the island of Ireland can offer and raising awareness of the many things to see and do here – underpinned by a strong value message. Our presence at this year’s ‘Great Days Out’ was also a fantastic opportunity to highlight The Gathering Ireland 2013 and Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture.”
Tourism Ireland’s new strategy in GB this year – called ‘GB Path to Growth’ – will see the number of British visitors to the island of Ireland increase by +20% i.e. an additional 200,000 holiday visitors per year by 2016.