As part of its push to grow business tourism from the rapidly-growing BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) markets, Tourism Ireland recently welcomed a group from one of India’s largest conglomerates, Godrej, to Ireland. The group included 80 of the company’s senior management team and their families, who travel to a different overseas destination each year on an incentive trip, as a reward for their performance over the previous year.
Tourism Ireland in Mumbai assisted the group in advance of their visit and suggested various places to include on their itinerary. The visiting group, who flew to Ireland via London, chose to include Ireland in their 2013 itinerary because of the ease of access now provided by the visa waiver scheme. Introduced by the Irish Government in 2011, the scheme allows people from emerging markets who are visiting Britain to also visit Ireland – without the cost or hassle of applying for a separate visa.
The group held their annual conference at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, before taking in some of the city’s top tourist attractions, including Trinity College and the Book of Kells, the Guinness Storehouse and St Patrick’s Cathedral. They also visited Slane Castle, where they enjoyed some whiskey-tasting, followed by a spot of lunch at nearby Tankardstown House. Then it was on to Kilkenny, where they took in a tour of Kilkenny Castle and enjoyed a bodhrán lesson at Kytler’s Inn. Their itinerary also included a visit to the House of Waterford Crystal.
Huzan Fraser, Tourism Ireland India, said: “We are delighted that this prominent Indian company chose to include Ireland in its 2013 overseas incentive trip. The majority of our overseas visitors come from the core tourism markets of Great Britain, North America and Mainland Europe, and while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by India and the other BRIC countries.
“Since the visa waiver scheme was introduced by the Government in 2011, there has been a noted increase in demand for visas for Ireland. Latest estimates by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) suggest that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020 and we believe this market could play a significant part in helping us to grow tourism from overseas in 2013 and beyond.”