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15 Oct 2014

Middle East meets west!

Tour operators from the Gulf give the island of Ireland the ‘thumbs up’

Tourism Ireland invited a small group of influential tour operators from the Middle East to visit the island of Ireland this week, in advance of attending a B2B workshop in Dublin.

The visit was organised in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Fáilte Ireland, to encourage the visiting tour operators to extend the Ireland content of their existing programmes or to include the island of Ireland for the first time in their 2015 programmes.

The group’s action-packed itinerary included popular tourist attractions like the Chester Beatty Library and Trinity College in Dublin, Titanic Belfast, the Burren Perfumery, the Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle in Co Clare, as well as the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens in Kildare.

Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets, said:

“Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring these influential tour operators to the island of Ireland for the annual New Markets Workshop – which provides such an important opportunity for our Irish tourism partners. Fact-finding visits like this are a valuable element of Tourism Ireland’s overall promotional effort in emerging tourism markets like the Middle East; they provide an excellent opportunity for us to position the island of Ireland as a ‘must see’ destination among key travel decision-makers.”

Gisele Mansfield (left) welcomes tour operators from the Middle East to Kildare Village; also pictured are Christina Gregory, Tourism Ireland (centre); and tour guide Peter Byrne (right).

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.