Irish tourism enterprises target new business for 2014 in San Diego and Santa Barbara
Nine tourism enterprises from Ireland travelled to California last week, to take part in Tourism Ireland’s final ‘Jump into Ireland’ sales blitz of 2013, which took place in the cities of San Diego and Santa Barbara. Altogether, the ‘Jump’ sales blitzes have targeted about 1,500 travel agents throughout 2013, in nine key cities in the all-important North American market.
With a new Aer Lingus service from San Francisco to Dublin due to commence next spring – making it much easier for Californians to get to Ireland – this was perfect timing to target the influential travel agents, reminding them why Ireland is such a great vacation choice for their clients in 2014. The busy schedule in San Diego and Santa Barbara included interactive presentations with a ‘virtual tour’ of Ireland, as well as networking with the influential travel agents and journalists in attendance.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “The new flight between San Franciso and Dublin is excellent news for Irish tourism and we look forward to working with Aer Lingus, as well as with the influential travel trade on the west coast of the United States, to drive demand for the service. North America is an extremely important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and 2013 is shaping up to be a record year – with the latest CSO figures, to the end of September, showing North American visitor numbers up almost +15% on the same nine-month period last year. Our ‘Jump into Ireland’ sales events, where we talk directly to travel agents and influential media, and tell them what makes the island of Ireland such a fantastic vacation destination, are an excellent opportunity to build on this momentum and grow business further from the US in 2014.”
Tourism Ireland has had a busy programme of promotional activity in place to target the American travel trade right throughout 2013 – including familiarisation visits to Ireland, workshops, travel agent training and webinars, as well as the ‘Jump into Ireland’ series of sales blitzes.