Seven top-producing travel agents from Australia visited the island of Ireland recently, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Etihad Airways. The aim of the visit was to showcase the many great experiences Australian holidaymakers can enjoy here.
Their itinerary – designed by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism NI – included visits to the Irish Whiskey Museum, Newgrange and Titanic Belfast; city tours of Dublin and Belfast; as well as visits to several locations in Northern Ireland used in the filming of Game of Thrones.
Diane Butler, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Australia and New Zealand, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to bring this group of influential travel agents to the island of Ireland. Inviting influential travel agents to come and experience what’s on offer here is a key element of Tourism Ireland’s promotional programme in Australia. Our aim is that when they return home, the travel agents will be even more enthusiastic about the destination, helping to secure a greater share of their business for the island of Ireland.”
Earlier this week, Tourism Ireland unveiled a new, three-year strategy to grow visitor numbers from Australia. The strategy sets out challenging and ambitious targets which will see the number of Australian visitors to the island of Ireland grow by +20% by the end of 2017. Diane Butler said: “Building on the strong performance of recent years, and the increased number of one-stop flights via the Middle East, we have set challenging targets for the 2015-2017 period. I am confident that our new, focused strategy will deliver on the targets we have set for growth in Australian visitors, between now and 2017.”
Tour guide Michelle Nugent (left) with Australian travel agents; Marco Best, Etihad Airways (second right); and Josephine O’Keeffe, Newgrange tour guide (third 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 2014, we welcomed an estimated 8.6 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.26 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. In 2014, Ireland.com attracted about 14.25 million visitors.