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02 Nov 2015

Ireland’s tourism drive for 2016 kicks off at world’s largest travel fair

Major Focus on Ireland’s Ancient East at World Travel Market in London

90 Irish tourism enterprises set to engage in thousands of meetings, as they negotiate business for 2016

A major tourism push for 2016 kicks off today, as almost 90 tourism businesses from across the island of Ireland join Tourism Ireland at this year’s World Travel Market (WTM) in London. WTM heralds the beginning of Ireland’s promotional drive overseas for the 2016 season

Over the next four days, the Irish companies will engage in thousands of meetings with British and international tour operators – to negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2016. Organisers estimate that more than £2.5 billion’s (about €3.4 billion’s) worth of business was done at last year’s WTM. 

With about 180 countries and regions all vying for business at WTM, Tourism Ireland aims to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the global media and travel professionals in attendance. The organisation will highlight Ireland’s unique offerings for potential visitors around the world. Ireland’s Ancient East, our newest tourism experience, will be unveiled to the influential audience at WTM – with actors in character bringing the experience to life and stunning images prominent on the Ireland stand. Promoting Ireland’s Ancient East will be a major focus of Tourism Ireland’s activity around the globe in 2016. 

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The large representation of Irish tourism companies at World Travel Market once again this year is extremely welcome – and essential in the highly competitive global marketplace. I am really pleased to report that we have seen growth in visitor numbers from all of our markets around the world this year. In fact, the latest CSO figures indicate that we are heading for a record year for Irish tourism in 2015, with almost 6.65 million people arriving during the January to September period – an increase of +12%, or almost three-quarters of a million extra overseas visitors, when compared to 2014. 

“Other recent good news was the inclusion of Dublin at number three in the world in the prestigious ‘Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2016’. This is wonderful news and will surely help to inspire travellers everywhere to put Dublin and Ireland on their holiday wish-list for 2016. It is another well-deserved accolade for Dublin and provides Tourism Ireland with a great hook to continue to promote the city and Ireland around the world as ‘must visit’ destinations. 


“And recent announcements about new flights for 2016 augur well for continued growth in Irish tourism. These include three new Aer Lingus transatlantic flights – from Los Angeles, Hartford (Connecticut) and Newark (New Jersey) to Dublin; a new Aer Lingus flight between Düsseldorf and Cork; Norwegian’s plans to introduce services from Boston and Barcelona to Cork; as well as a new Ryanair flight from Amsterdam to Dublin, which began last week.” 

Now in its 36th year, World Travel Market is the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar, with more than 50,000 travel professionals from around the world and 3,000 international media in attendance. 
  Jenny De Saulles, Fáilte Ireland; Ambassador of Ireland Dan Mulhall; actors Annette Flynn and Barry McStay; and Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland, unveiling Ireland’s Ancient East at World Travel Market 2016.

Notes To Editors

PARTNERS ON THE TOURISM IRELAND STAND AT WORLD TRAVEL MARKET 2015 INCLUDE:

•    Abbey & Central Hotels, Nesbitt Arms Hotel & Lawlors Hotels
•    Ashling Hotel
•    Bayview Hotel Portballintrae
•    Belfast City Council
•    Belleek Pottery
•    Best Western International
•    Causeway Coastal Route
•    Celtic Group Hostels
•    Choice Hotel Group
•    CIE Tours International
•    Citysightseeing Belfast
•    City West Hotel, Conference & Events Centre
•    Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience
•    Cronins Coaches
•    Dalata Hotel Group Ltd 
•    Diageo
•    Discover Boyne Valley
•    Dublin Bus – Dublin Sightseeing Tours
•    Dublin’s DNA Visitor Experience
•    Extreme Ireland
•    Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism
•    Glen Keen Farm & Visitor Centre
•    Guinness Storehouse
•    Hastings Hotels
•    Holiday Ireland Hotels
•    Irish Greyhound Board
•    Irish Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum
•    Irish Tourism Group
•    Irish Welcome Tours
•    Irish Whiskey Museum
•    Jameson Whiskey Tours
•    Killarney Jaunting Cars Ltd – Tangney Tours Ireland
•    Killary Fjord and Dublin Discovered Boat Tours
•    Kilkenny Tourism
•    Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden
•    Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council
•    Manor House Hotels & Irish Country Hotels
•    McComb’s Coach Travel Ltd
•    McGettigan Hotel Group
•    Mespil Hotel and Sligo Park Hotel
•    Mourne Mountains / Ring of Gullion
•    MyHolidayIrelandb2b.com
•    National Trust 
•    National Trust Giant’s Causeway
•    O’Connor Coaches Ltd
•    Old Bushmills Distillery
•    Powell Destination Marketing
•    PREM Group Hotels
•    Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links
•    Railtours Ireland First Class!
•    Roe Park Resort
•    Select Hotels of Ireland
•    Shannon Heritage
•    Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny
•    SRC Hotels Ireland
•    St Patrick’s Country
•    The Connacht Hotel 
•    The National Wax Museum
•    Titanic Belfast
•    Tullamore D.E.W Old Bonded Warehouse
•    Ulsterbus Tours