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13 Mar 2015

Promoting the island of Ireland to the influential travel trade in Britain

Tourism Ireland and partners attend Best of Britain and Ireland trade fair in Birmingham

Sixteen tourism businesses from the island of Ireland travelled to Birmingham this week, to join Tourism Ireland at the Best of Britain and Ireland (BoBI) trade fair.

BoBI is a business-to-business event for the travel trade in Britain – attracting around 2,750 influential coach tour operators, group travel organisers, business and educational travel organisers. The two-day event provided a valuable opportunity for the participating companies from Ireland to do business with the influential decision-makers in attendance; the objective was to encourage them to introduce Ireland into their programmes for 2015, or to extend the programmes in which Ireland already features. The Wild Atlantic Way, Causeway Coastal Route, ID2015 (the year of Irish Design), Yeats 2015 and the Irish Open at Royal County Down were just some of the key themes being highlighted by Tourism Ireland at this year’s BoBI.

Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: “Great Britain is the largest market for tourism to Ireland and we were pleased to see visitor numbers increase by +6% in 2014, almost 2.8 million British visitors during the year. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that tourism growth continues and we have an extensive programme of promotions under way across Britain in 2015. Our presence at this year’s BoBI is just one element of our programme of activity with the travel trade. Our aim is to enthuse the GB travel trade, including online and traditional travel agents and tour operators, so they feature more island of Ireland holidays in their programmes for 2015.”

Anna Connor and Paula Prendergast, both Discover Mayo; and Debbie Moran, Tourism Ireland, at the BoBI trade fair in Birmingham.

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.