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26 Feb 2015

International tour operators give Ireland the thumbs up!

250 top international buyers from 37 countries hear all about the island of Ireland

More than 250 top international buyers from 37 different countries, including Australia, China, India, Japan, Brazil and Russia, are hearing all about the island of Ireland at the inaugural ExploreGB event.

As part of its ongoing partnership with VisitBritain, Tourism Ireland – together with 16 tourism companies from the island of Ireland – is taking part in ExploreGB, VisitBritain’s new flagship international event which is taking place this week at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire. It’s a two-day workshop involving a series of pre-scheduled, one-to-one appointments – showcasing Britain and the island of Ireland to a large audience of international buyers and helping to deliver additional itineraries and brochure pages featuring both destinations. The tourism companies from Ireland have the opportunity to meet and do business with about 250 carefully selected international travel buyers who have flown in from 37 countries around the world.

ExploreGB is also an ideal opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight the new British-Irish Visa Scheme to buyers from China and India; the scheme enables leisure and business travellers from both countries to visit Ireland and the UK on a single visa, for the first time in 2015.

Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets, said: “We are really pleased to be part of the inaugural ExploreGB – which provides another important platform for Tourism Ireland and our partners to showcase and sell the island of Ireland to key international travel buyers. We already work closely with VisitBritain, particularly in long-haul markets like China and India, to target people travelling to Britain and encourage them to visit the island of Ireland as part of their trip, and vice versa. A key message for us to buyers from China and India is the new British-Irish Visa Scheme, which will enable visitors from those countries to visit both Ireland and the UK in 2015 on a single visa of either country.”


Deirdre Wells OBE, CEO of UKinbound, with Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, at the inaugural ExploreGB workshop.


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.