Tourism Ireland invited a group of 17 top UK inbound tour operators on a fact-finding visit of the island of Ireland this week, in advance of attending a B2B workshop with Irish tourism enterprises in Dublin.
The visiting tour operators are responsible for putting in place the arrangements for holidaymakers to Britain and the island of Ireland from all over the world, so the aim of their visit – organised in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism NI – was to help grow the island of Ireland’s share of the huge, worldwide tourism market, with a particular focus on increasing business from new and emerging tourism markets like China, Brazil and Russia.
The group’s action-packed itinerary includes Belfast, Londonderry, Donegal, Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Westmeath, Meath and Kildare, as well as Dublin. David Boyce, Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of UK inbound tour operators to come and experience what the island of Ireland has to offer. The majority of our overseas visitors come from the core markets of Great Britain, North America and Mainland Europe, and while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by ‘new’ tourism markets, which we believe will play an increasing role in the future of the travel and tourism industry. It is therefore crucial that influential operators working in these markets get to experience Ireland, and the high standard of our tourism offering, at first-hand.”
David Boyce continued: “2014 was a record year for visitor numbers from Ireland’s long-haul markets – and 2015 is also looking positive, with the most recent CSO figures showing growth of +9% in visitor numbers from Australia and developing markets for January to August. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that this growth continues and our busy autumn campaign is now in full swing.”
UK inbound tour operators at Belvedere House, Mullingar, with Ronan Francis, Tourism Ireland (third row, 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 8.4 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of €4.1 billion.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.Ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, Ireland.com attracted about 14.25 million visitors.