A group of leading UK-based tour operators are visiting Ireland this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland. They are here to attend a B2B workshop with Irish tourism enterprises in Dublin, organised by Fáilte Ireland, and to take part in a fact-finding visit of Ireland.
The aim of the tour operators’ visit is to help grow Ireland’s share of the huge, worldwide tourism market, with a particular focus on increasing business from new and emerging tourism markets, like India and China. The group kicked off their time here with a tour of the Titanic Experience and a Titanic Trail walking tour in Cobh and paid a visit to the Jameson Experience in Midleton. They also did a walking tour of the Viking Quarter in Waterford; visited Hook Lighthouse and Kilmokea House and Gardens in Co Wexford; and even enjoyed a hurling demo in Kilkenny!
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets, said: “The majority of our overseas visitors come from the core 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 ‘new’ tourism markets, which we believe will play an increasing role in the future of the travel and tourism industry. It is therefore crucial that influential operators working in these markets get to experience Ireland at first-hand and the high standard of the tourism product on offer here. For many of the group, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our spectacular scenery, the variety of things to see and do, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met.”