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18 May 2015

Influential travel professionals pay a visit from ‘Down Under’

A group of leading travel agents and tour operators from Australia and New Zealand have been visiting Ireland, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Emirates.

The travel professionals are all top sellers – and have been responsible for bringing large volumes of business to Ireland over the past year. The aim of the visit was to showcase some of the many experiences on offer in Ireland for holidaymakers – and to enthuse the travel agents even more about the destination, so that when they return home they will be better equipped to advise their clients when planning and booking their holidays.

Diane Butler, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Australia and New Zealand, said: “Travel agents and tour operators continue to be important in planning and booking holidays in Australia and New Zealand, so working with the travel trade is a key element of our promotional activity. We were delighted that these travel professionals have taken time out of their busy schedules to come and visit Ireland. There is really no substitute for being able to come here and experience what Ireland has to offer at first-hand; our aim is that when these travel agents and tour operators return home, they will be even more enthusiastic about the destination, helping to secure a greater share of their business for Ireland. Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way in Australia this year and we are working closely with partners like Emirates, to highlight ease of access to Ireland and the attractive fares available.”

The group’s itinerary included visits to Newgrange, Donegal Castle, Sliabh League, Yeats’ grave at Drumcliffe, Strokestown Park and the Irish National Famine Museum, Kilbeggan Distillery and the Guinness Storehouse.

Tourism Ireland recently 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%, to almost 220,000 per year, 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.”

  Australia and New Zealand travel agents and tour operators with Fiona Clelland, Tourism Ireland (left); and tour guide Conor Ellard (second 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, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, attracted about 14.25 million visitors.