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03 Oct 2014

A Taste of Ireland at ‘flavours’ tourism event in London

B2B workshop aims to grow our share of huge worldwide tourism market

Forty-five tourism enterprises from the island of Ireland travelled to London this week, to take part in Flavours of Ireland 2014. Tourism Ireland’s B2B tourism workshop, now in its 12th year, saw 100 representatives of the top GB-based inbound tour operators come together to do business with the various tourism organisations from the island of Ireland.

Flavours of Ireland is an annual event which aims to grow our share of the huge worldwide tourism market. Attended by representatives of top tour operators like Tailor Made Tours International, Hotelbeds, Insight Vacations and JAC Travel Ltd, who are responsible for putting in place the arrangements for holidaymakers to Britain and the island of Ireland from all over the world, this event was an excellent opportunity for the participating tourism providers from Ireland to highlight their product to these important decision-makers and to encourage them to include the island of Ireland in their future holiday programmes.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, said: “’Flavours of Ireland’ is about looking to the future and figuring out the ways we might work with others to accelerate the tourism growth that is so central to our recovery. Overseas visitors contribute almost €4 billion a year to the Irish economy and help to sustain 200,000 jobs. Government initiatives on the air travel tax and on visas have been instrumental in helping our industry to address issues of competitiveness and make it easier for people to come to Ireland. They have also made it easier for those from some of the fastest growing markets, like China and India, to include Ireland on their travel plans.

“In our attempts to encourage visits from these growing markets, work has been ongoing between the Irish Department of Justice and Equality and the UK Home Office on the development of a new British-Irish Visa Scheme. This will make it easier and less expensive for visitors from a range of developing markets to visit both destinations. I understand that a formal announcement in this regard will be made very shortly.

“The scheme, is based on mutual recognition of each other's visas by Ireland and the UK, will be an historic breakthrough between the two jurisdiction. It will build on the success of the Irish Short-stay Visa Waiver Programme, which was launched by the Government in July 2011, and has led to significant increases in visits from the countries covered by the Programme.  

“The tourism industry has played a leading role in our recovery. Building on the success we have seen in recent years from markets such as the UK and the US, while identifying the potential that exists in others, is key to sustaining the progress we have made to date. Events such as ‘Flavours of Ireland’ are central to those efforts.”

Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted that so many tourism organisations from around the island of Ireland and so many of the leading GB-based tour operators took the time to join us at our ‘Flavours’ event again this year and we very much welcome the business and networking opportunities it presented. Our aim is to increase awareness of the island of Ireland among these hugely influential tour operators and to help Ireland and our tourism partners secure a greater share of the huge worldwide tourism market.”

  Keith Beecham, VisitBritain; Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe; Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s CEO; and Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets, at the Flavours of Ireland workshop in London.

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, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.