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01 Nov 2014

Influential UK tour operators pay a visit

Twenty-two leading UK inbound tour operators are vising Ireland this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland.

These tour operators are all based in Britain and are responsible for putting in place arrangements for visitors from long-haul markets. The aim of their five-day visit to Ireland this week is to help grow our share of the huge, worldwide tourism market – with a particular focus on increasing business from new and emerging markets, like India, China and Russia.

Following an itinerary devised by Fáilte Ireland, the group visited attractions like the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar, Kylemore Abbey, Clonmacnoise and the Guinness Storehouse. They also had the opportunity to meet Irish tourism providers at networking events in Westport and Dublin.

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 tour operators working in these markets get to experience Ireland, and the high standard of our tourism offering, at first-hand.”

  UK inbound tour operators at the Museum of Country Life near Castlebar with Harri Grunitz, Tourism Ireland (front, third right); tour guide Conor Ellard (left); and Marlene Burke, Fáilte Ireland (second left).

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.
  • In 2013, we welcomed an estimated 8 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of almost €4 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.