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08 Mar 2013

Tourism sales blitz to boost American visitors

Tourism Ireland’s 2013 series of ‘Jump into Ireland’ sales blitzes across the US and Canada kicked off recently in Washington DC and Raleigh (North Carolina). Together with tourism operators from around the island of Ireland, Tourism Ireland will ‘pound the pavements’ in the all-important North American market again this year, targeting hundreds of travel agents in key cities.

The sales blitz involved a packed schedule, with interactive ‘virtual’ tours of Ireland and presentations to travel agents, as well as networking with influential travel journalists – providing an excellent platform for the participating Irish tourism companies to showcase their product to the key decision-makers they met in the two cities. It was also a fantastic opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight The Gathering Ireland 2013 and the many festivals and events taking place here this year. Similar sales blitzes will take place in Phoenix and Denver, and in Montreal and Ottawa (in Canada) in March; and in San Diego and Santa Barbara in October.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Vice-President of Marketing in the United States, said: “The United States continues to be one of the strongest markets for tourism to the island of Ireland and 2013 looks set to be a record year. This type of event – where we talk directly to influential travel agents and media – provides an excellent platform 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 this year for The Gathering Ireland. As well as directly targeting the Diaspora and those with a connection to Ireland, Tourism Ireland is also working closely with influential travel agents and tour operators, so that they will encourage their clients to visit this year, to sample some of the many festivals and events of The Gathering.”

Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotional activity in place to target the US travel trade right throughout 2013 – including familiarisation visits to Ireland, workshops, travel agent training and webinars, as well as a series of sales blitzes.