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03 Nov 2014

Minister Michael Ring kicks off Ireland’s tourism drive for 2015 at world’s largest travel fair

70 Irish tourism enterprises set to engage in thousands of meetings, as they negotiate business for 2015

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring joins Tourism Ireland and 70 tourism enterprises from across the island of Ireland at World Travel Market (WTM) in London today, heralding the beginning of the promotional drive overseas for the 2015 season.

Now in its 35th year, World Travel Market is the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar, with about 50,000 travel industry professionals from around the world and 3,000 influential international media in attendance. According to the organisers of WTM, more than £2.2 billion’s (approximately €2.8 billion’s) worth of business was transacted at the event in 2013. This year, some 70 Irish tourism enterprises – including hotels, visitor attractions, ferry companies, coach companies, incoming tour operators, hostels and activity providers – are exhibiting at the Tourism Ireland stand. Over the next four days, they will engage in thousands of meetings with British and international tour operators – as they negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2015.  

With more than 180 countries and regions all vying for business at WTM this week, Tourism Ireland aims to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the global media and travel trade in attendance – highlighting the unique offerings of the island of Ireland for potential visitors around the world.

The latest CSO figures for overseas visitors to Ireland are very strong, confirming growth of +9.3% in overseas visitors to Ireland for the January to September period – more than 500,000 additional visitors when compared with the same nine-month period in 2013. Government initiatives – including the reduction of the air travel tax to zero (which has helped increase key air routes to Ireland), as well as the retention of VAT on tourism services at 9% (helping to make Ireland more competitive in terms of value for money), have played a significant role in helping grow visitor numbers. The recent launch of the British-Irish Visa Scheme is also significant, as it will mean Chinese and Indian visitors will be able – for the first time – to visit both Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a single visa of either country.

Minister Michael Ring said: “I am highly impressed with the level of business being done by the tourism industry at this year’s World Travel Market, particularly at the Ireland Stand, where I have seen tourism enterprises from all parts of Ireland conducting hundreds of business meetings and doing a great job of selling tourism to the global travel trade. The Government believes strongly in the importance of tourism as a vehicle for Irish economic recovery, and we are committed to supporting the tourism industry’s efforts to increase Ireland’s export earnings from overseas tourism.”

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The large representation of Irish tourism companies on the Tourism Ireland stand at World Travel Market this year is extremely welcome and essential in the highly competitive global marketplace.

“I am really pleased to report that we have seen growth in visitor numbers from all of our market areas around the world this year. In fact, we expect 2014 to be a record year for visitor numbers from North America (+14% up to the end of September), from Germany (+16%), Spain (+13%) and France (+3%), as well as from our long-haul markets (almost +11%).


“Other recent good news was the inclusion of Ireland at number five in the prestigious Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2015. This is really good news and will surely help to inspire travellers everywhere to put Ireland on their holiday wish-list for 2015. It also gives Tourism Ireland another wonderful hook to continue to promote the island of Ireland around the world as a ‘must visit’ destination. At the beginning of next month, we will outline our plans for 2015, when we will be pulling out all the stops to keep this momentum going and ensure that the island of Ireland continues to increase its share of the global travel business.”

Notes to Editors:
 
PARTNERS ON THE TOURISM IRELAND STAND AT WORLD TRAVEL MARKET 2014
Abbey Tours
Ashling Hotel
Belfast Cathedral
Belleek Pottery
Best Western Ireland
Causeway Coast & Glens
Celtic Group Hostels
Choice Hotel Group
City Hotel Derry
City Tours Belfast
Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience
Coiste
Cronins Coaches
Dalata Hotel Group Ltd – Maldron Hotels & Partner Hotels
Dublin Bus – Dublin Sightseeing Tours
Extreme Ireland
Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism
Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel
Forever Happening – the South East
Galgorm Resort & Spa
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
GPO Witness History
Guinness Storehouse
Hastings Hotels
Innova Tax Free
Irish Ferries
Irish Geoparks
Irish Rail
Irish Tourism Group
Irish Welcome Tours
Jameson Distillery Tours
Killarney Jaunting Cars Ltd – Tangney Tours Ireland
Killary Fjord and Dublin Discovered Boat Tours
Killashee House Hotel
Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden

Lisburn City Council
Lough Eske Castle
MBA & Ireland’s Choice
McComb’s Coach Travel
Mespil Hotel and Sligo Park Hotel
MyHolidayIreland.com
National Museums Northern Ireland
National Trust
O’Connor Coaches Ltd
O’Callaghan Hotels
Peter Little Publications
PREM Group Hotels
Pure Ireland Experience
Railtours Ireland First Class
Ramada Hotel Portrush
Regency Hotel Group
Select Hotels of Ireland
Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny
SRC Hotels Ireland
SS Nomadic
The Connacht Hotel Galway
Saint Patrick Centre
St Patrick’s Country
The Fota Collection
The Talbot Collection
Titanic Belfast
Travelodge Ireland
Ulsterbus Tours
Vagabond Tours
Whites Hotel Group
Wild Atlantic Way
Winterfell Movie Set
Visit Belfast
Visit Derry

 

  Aileesh Carew, Irish Design 2015; Minister Michael Ring; Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Britain; Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland CEO, at World Travel Market 2014.

Notes To Editors

PARTNERS ON THE TOURISM IRELAND STAND AT WORLD TRAVEL MARKET 2014
Abbey Tours
Ashling Hotel
Belfast Cathedral
Belleek Pottery
Best Western Ireland
Causeway Coast & Glens
Celtic Group Hostels
Choice Hotel Group
City Hotel Derry
City Tours Belfast
Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience
Coiste
Cronins Coaches
Dalata Hotel Group Ltd – Maldron Hotels & Partner Hotels
Dublin Bus – Dublin Sightseeing Tours
Extreme Ireland
Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism
Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel
Forever Happening – the South East
Galgorm Resort & Spa
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
GPO Witness History
Guinness Storehouse
Hastings Hotels
Innova Tax Free
Irish Ferries
Irish Geoparks
Irish Rail
Irish Tourism Group
Irish Welcome Tours
Jameson Distillery Tours
Killarney Jaunting Cars Ltd – Tangney Tours Ireland
Killary Fjord and Dublin Discovered Boat Tours
Killashee House Hotel
Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden
Lisburn City Council
 
Lough Eske Castle
MBA & Ireland’s Choice
McComb’s Coach Travel
Mespil Hotel and Sligo Park Hotel
MyHolidayIreland.com
National Museums Northern Ireland
National Trust
O’Connor Coaches Ltd
O’Callaghan Hotels
Peter Little Publications
PREM Group Hotels
Pure Ireland Experience
Railtours Ireland First Class
Ramada Hotel Portrush
Regency Hotel Group
Select Hotels of Ireland
Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny
SRC Hotels Ireland
SS Nomadic
The Connacht Hotel Galway
Saint Patrick Centre
St Patrick’s Country
The Fota Collection
The Talbot Collection
Titanic Belfast
Travelodge Ireland
Ulsterbus Tours
Vagabond Tours
Whites Hotel Group
Wild Atlantic Way
Winterfell Movie Set
Visit Belfast
Visit Derry