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31 Oct 2014

American and Canadian tour operators give Ireland the ‘thumbs up’!

Influential group tour operators visit Ireland

Eight leading group tour operators from the United States and Canada have been visiting Ireland this week. They were here to attend a B2B networking event – organised by Fáilte Ireland – with Irish tourism enterprises, at Bellinter House near Navan, and to take part in a fact-finding visit, to find out about great places to visit and the accommodation on offer here.

The group’s busy itinerary took in places like Trim Castle, the Brú na Bóinne visitor centre, the Battle of the Boyne visitor centre, Powerscourt House & Gardens, the Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens, Glasnevin Museum and Dublin Castle.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite these influential group tour operators to Ireland. Familiarisation visits such as these are extremely important, as the tour operators get to experience at first-hand the wealth of things to see and do here for American and Canadian holidaymakers. Our aim is to enthuse them about the destination, helping to ensure Ireland is ‘top of mind’ for them when putting together itineraries for their clients.”

2014 is set to be another record year for tourism from North America. According to the latest CSO figures, visitor numbers from the US and Canada have grown by +13.9% for January to September this year, an extra 130,000 visitors compared with the same nine-month period in 2013. Frieda O’Connell, Irish National Stud (right), welcomes American and Canadian tour operators and Jean McCluskey, Tourism Ireland (fourth right), to the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens.

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.