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29 Jan 2016

Creating Celtic Connections for the island of Ireland

A delegation of tourism businesses from the island of Ireland was in Glasgow this week, taking part in Tourism Ireland’s first promotion of 2016 in Scotland – a B2B workshop and networking event with key travel professionals.

In all, 25 tourism businesses from the island of Ireland – including hotels, visitor attractions, ferry companies, activity providers and regional tourism organisations – had the opportunity to meet with influential Scottish tour operators and travel agents, as well local travel and lifestyle journalists. The annual event provides a valuable platform of the participating Irish companies to network and win business for the year ahead.

Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, said: “I am delighted that so many of our tourism partners from Ireland have joined us in Glasgow this week, highlighting our tourism offering to influential Scottish tour operators and travel agents. Great Britain is our largest tourism market and we were delighted to see visitor numbers to Ireland increase by +12% in 2015, an extra 383,000 British visitors compared with 2014. We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues.”

Tourism Ireland’s workshop and networking event was timed to coincide with Celtic Connections, Scotland’s premier winter music festival, so it was also a good opportunity to highlight our music and culture, important components of the holiday experience in Ireland, particularly for our ‘culturally curious’ audience.

Vanessa Markey continued: “Music and culture are key components of the holiday experience in Ireland, so platforms like Celtic Connections help us to spread the word about the island of Ireland as a premier destination with an appealing cultural offering. Our message is that there has never been a better time for Scottish holidaymakers to come and see that for themselves.”

  Áine McFeely, City Hotel Derry; Karen Henderson, Visit Derry; chef and cookbook author Emmett McCourt; Charlene Shongo, City of Derry Airport; James Huey, Walled City Brewery; and Caroline Mulligan, Tourism Ireland, at a B2B workshop and networking event in Glasgow.

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 2015, we welcomed more than 8 million overseas visitors to Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.2 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which attracted about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.