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28 Sep 2015

British tour operators check out the Wild Atlantic Way

Tourism Ireland invited 23 leading British coach and group tour operators to the West of Ireland, in advance of attending a B2B workshop with Irish tourism enterprises in Limerick today (Monday, 28 September). The event was organised in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, to encourage the visiting tour operators to extend the Ireland content of their existing programmes or to include Ireland for the first time in their 2016 programmes.

The tour operators’ action-packed itinerary included Galway, Connemara and Inis Mór, as well as the Cliffs of Moher and the banquet at Bunratty.

Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring these influential coach and group operators to the West of Ireland for this annual workshop – which provides such an important opportunity for our Irish tourism partners. Great Britain is the largest market for tourism to the island of Ireland and visits like this provide an excellent opportunity for us to position Ireland as a ‘must see’ destination.

“Britain is the largest market for tourism to the island of Ireland and we have seen strong growth in British visitor numbers so far this year, with the latest CSO figures indicating growth of +11% for January to July, almost 200,000 extra British visitors compared with the same seven-month period in 2014. Tourism Ireland is determined to 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.”

  British coach tour operators at Kylemore Abbey with Linda Duncan, Tourism Ireland (front, centre), and Marlene Burke, Fáilte Ireland (front, 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.