Two groups of leading travel agents from across the USA are taking part in fact-finding visits of the island of Ireland this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland, American Airlines and Aer Lingus. They are here to attend a B2B workshop with Irish tourism companies – organised by Fáilte Ireland – which will take place at the Heritage Golf & Spa Resort, Co Laois.
The travel agents – all representatives of top-producing American travel companies like Ensemble, Virtuoso and American Express – are experiencing some of our top visitor attractions including Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, the Cobh Heritage Centre, the House of Waterford Crystal, Kilkenny Castle, Trinity College and Newgrange.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “We are delighted that so many of these influential travel agents have taken the time out of their busy schedules to come and visit the island of Ireland. Familiarisation visits such as these are extremely important, as the travel agents get to experience at first-hand the wealth of things to see and do here for American holidaymakers. Our aim is to enthuse them about the destination and ensure that when they return home they are better equipped to advise their clients about Ireland, when planning and booking their holidays.
“We have seen very strong growth of +14% in North American visitors to Ireland for January to August 2015, an additional 127,600 American and Canadian visitors compared to the same period in 2014. We are determined to keep the momentum going and ensure that growth continues. Our extensive autumn campaign is now in full swing and aims to take advantage of late booking trends, as there is still plenty of business to play for.”
American travel agents with Ann-Marie Murphy, Fáilte Ireland (left), at the Cobh Heritage Centre, Co Cork.
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.