Twelve (12) top-producing Canadian travel agents are exploring Ireland this week, courtesy of Tourism Ireland and Air Canada rouge. They are here to attend a B2B workshop with Irish tourism companies – organised by Fáilte Ireland – which will take place at Barberstown Castle Hotel, Co Kildare. The aim of their visit is to educate and enthuse them about Ireland – so they are better equipped to sell the destination to their clients when they return home.
Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Canada, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of travel agents to visit. Working with influential travel professionals is a key element of our annual programme of activity in Canada. Visits like this ensure the travel agents get to experience at first-hand the wealth of things to see and do here. Our aim is to really enthuse them about the destination, to ensure they are better equipped to advise their clients, when planning and booking their holidays.
“Canadian holidaymakers traditionally travelled to Ireland between May and September, mainly because of the seasonal nature of direct flights. Now, we have year-round, direct flights from Canada, helping to grow visitor numbers during the shoulder season. Our message is that the island of Ireland has never been so convenient, nor more affordable to get to.”
Following an itinerary designed by Fáilte Ireland, the travel agents are taking in a number of our top visitor attractions and accommodation this week – including Glenveagh Castle, Yeats’ grave at Drumcliffe, Strokestown Park House & Famine Museum, Kilbeggan Distillery, Kilkenny Castle and the House of Waterford Crystal.
2014 was the best year ever for Irish tourism from Canada – with visitor numbers increasing by +30% over 2013. And the outlook for 2015 is also positive, with the latest CSO figures showing growth in visitors from the US and Canada of +14% for January to September.
Canadian travel agents at Kilbeggan Distillery, with Jonathan Sargeant, Tourism Ireland (right).
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 8.4 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.1 billion.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.Ireland.com, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which will attract more than 16 million visitors in 2015.