Ten tourism enterprises from around the island of Ireland travelled to London over the weekend to join Tourism Ireland for ‘Excursions’, an annual group travel show which attracts about 1,000 influential coach and group tour operators from around Great Britain.
Visitors to the show included coach tour operators and group travel organisers representing all types of clubs and associations around Britain – who are responsible for putting in place arrangements for holidays and excursions overseas for groups. The one-day show provided an ideal opportunity for the participating Irish companies to network and do business face-to-face with decision-makers from the important coach and group travel sector; the objective was to encourage them to introduce the island of Ireland to their programmes or brochures for 2014, or to extend the programmes in which Ireland already features. The Wild Atlantic Way and the many festivals and events taking place here in 2014, were a major focus at this year’s Excursions.
Vanessa Markey, head of Tourism Ireland in Great Britain, said: “Great Britain is our largest tourism market, delivering almost half of all our overseas visitors. Events like this provide an excellent opportunity for us to raise awareness of the many things to see and do around the island of Ireland for British visitors – underpinned by a strong value message. As well as positioning the island of Ireland as a ‘must-see’ destination among the influential group travel organisers in attendance, our presence at Excursions was a fantastic opportunity to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way, as well the exciting programme of events taking place this year, including Limerick City of Culture and the Giro d’Italia.
"Tourism Ireland in Great Britain has a strong and comprehensive programme of promotions planned for 2014. The most recent figures from the CSO – up to the end of November – show a welcome return to growth in British visitors of +5%. Our plan is to welcome an additional 200,000 British holiday visitors per year by 2016 (+20%).”
Notes To Editors
- Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
- Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
- By the end of 2014, we will have welcomed an estimated 8.6 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.26 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.