Twenty-seven top travel agents from around France visited the west of Ireland over the weekend. They were invited to visit having completed Tourism Ireland’s 2013 e-learning training programme for French travel agents, designed to help them sell holidays to the island of Ireland.
The group’s itinerary – designed by Fáilte Ireland – included tours of Kilbeggan Distillery and Athlone Castle in Co Westmeath; a fun “puzzle trail” through the streets of Galway city, a cruise on the Corrib Princess and a guided tour of Kylemore Abbey; as well as a cruise to Cong, Co Mayo, where a specially-commissioned statue to commemorate the characters in The Quiet Man was unveiled.
Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Southern Europe, said: “As a reward for completing their e-training on selling Ireland, this group of travel agents got to visit the west of Ireland, to enjoy our spectacular scenery and some of our most popular visitor attractions. Familiarisation trips such as this are really important, as influential travel agents get to experience at first-hand what’s on offer in this part of Ireland for French holidaymakers; our aim is that when they return home to France, the travel agents will be even more enthusiastic about the destination and much better equipped to advise their clients when planning and booking their holidays.”
France is one of Ireland’s ‘top four’ markets for overseas tourism and Tourism Ireland has a busy promotional programme in place this autumn, showcasing the island of Ireland as a fantastic holiday destination.