Ten top travel agents from New Zealand visited Ireland this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Emirates. The group was here on a fact-finding trip, to sample at first-hand our superb holiday experience.
Their itinerary took in Dublin – including the Dublin Ghostbus tour, a visit to the Guinness Storehouse and the Book of Kells at Trinity College, as well as an evening at the Irish House Party on Francis Street; Offaly – with visits to the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre and Clonmacnoise; Galway – including Cnoc Suain in Spiddal; and Co Clare – with a guided tour of Doolin Cave and a visit to the Cliffs of Moher.
Darragh Walshe, Tourism Ireland’s manager in New Zealand, said: “We are delighted that these travel agents have taken time out from their busy schedules to come so far to visit Ireland. For many, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our wonderful scenery, the variety of things to see and do here, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met.
“Familiarisation visits such as these are extremely important as they help the travel agents to know exactly what we have to offer potential holidaymakers from New Zealand; the aim is to really enthuse them about the destination, so that when they return home, they are better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans.”
2012 was a record year for visitor numbers from Ireland’s long-haul markets. And indications for 2013 are also positive. According to the latest CSO figures, visitor numbers from Australia and developing markets (including New Zealand) have grown by +6.9% YTD, when compared to the same period in 2012.