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01 Apr 2015

Sales blitz to boost Canadian visitors to Ireland

Tourism Ireland targets group travel business from Canada

Tourism Ireland, together with ten Irish tourism companies, embarked on a four-city, cross-Canada sales blitz last week – meeting with travel agents, tour operators, group leaders and tour planners in the major hubs of Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Victoria.

The four-day blitz involved an ‘Ireland Always in Season’ workshop in each city, where the Irish partners had the opportunity to network with, and sell to, more than 130 influential Canadian travel professionals  – inspiring them about the many opportunities the island of Ireland offers for group travel business. Key messages included the Wild Atlantic Way, the Causeway Coastal Route, our music and food, as well as ID2015 (the year of Irish design) and Yeats 2015.

2014 was the best year ever for Irish tourism from Canada – with visitor numbers increasing by +30% over 2013. Tourism Ireland in Toronto is pulling out all the stops this year, to keep the momentum going and ensure that success continues. The organisation believes this is a market of potential for further growth in 2015 – with the number of airline seats between Canada and Ireland set to increase by +22% in the peak summer months (following growth of +71% in summer 2014).

Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Canada, said, said: “We are delighted that so many key decision-makers in the group travel sector in Canada have taken the time to meet with our Irish tourism partners, to hear about our fantastic tourism offering and the many opportunities for group travel to the island of Ireland. 2014 was the best year ever for Irish tourism from Canada – with visitor numbers increasing by +30% over 2013. And the outlook for the year ahead is positive, particularly given that the number of airline seats from Canada is set to increase by +22% in the peak summer months. Our message is that the island of Ireland has never been so convenient or more affordable to get to.”

Tourism partners who took part in Tourism Ireland’s ‘Ireland Always in Season’ workshops in Canada included:
-    Edward Hotels
-    Griffin Hotel Group
-    Irish Tourism Group
-    Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa
-    Manor House Hotels & Irish Country Hotels
-    Railtours Ireland First Class
-    Royal Irish Tours
-    Lough Eske Castle
-    Specialized Travel Services
-    Waterford Treasures

Alison Deegan, Manor House Hotels & Irish Country Hotels; Mary Hartnett, Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa; Eamon McEneaney, Waterford Museum of Treasures; Fiona Delahunty, Griffin Hotel Group; Jim Deegan, Railtours Ireland – First Class; Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland; Steve Royston;; Tanya Johnson, Royal Irish Tours; Katie Daly, Specialized Travel Services; Paul Shortall, Lough Eske Castle Hotel; and Suzanne Meade, Edward Hotels, in Toronto.

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, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, attracted about 14.25 million visitors.


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