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18 Mar 2016

Promoting the island of Ireland to the travel trade in Britain

Tourism Ireland and partners showcase Ireland at British Tourism and Travel Show in Birmingham

Seventeen (17) tourism companies from around the island of Ireland joined Tourism Ireland at the British Tourism and Travel Show, at the NEC in Birmingham.

The British Tourism and Travel Show is an annual event for the travel trade in Britain – attracting more than 3,000 coach tour operators and group travel organisers, including leading travel companies like Albatross Travel Group,, First Choice Holidays and JacTravel.

The two-day event provided a valuable opportunity for the participating companies from Ireland to meet, and do business with, key players in the British travel trade – encouraging them to introduce Ireland into their programmes for 2016 and beyond, or to extend the programmes in which Ireland already features.

Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, said: “Great Britain is the largest market for tourism to the island of Ireland and we were pleased to see visitor numbers increase by +12% in 2015, an extra 383,000 British visitors compared with 2014. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that tourism growth continues. Our presence at this year’s British Tourism and Travel Show is just one element of our programme of activity with the travel trade. Our aim is to enthuse the GB travel trade, including online and traditional travel agents and tour operators, so they feature more island of Ireland holidays in their programmes for 2016.”

This week, Tourism Ireland has been participating in and promoting the island of Ireland at a range of St Patrick’s Day events across Britain. Major landmarks participating in Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative to celebrate St Patrick and Ireland included the London Eye, Nelson’s Column, Selfridges in London and Birmingham, the Trafford Centre in Manchester and Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

  Jim Maher, Select Hotels of Ireland; Judith Cassidy, Tourism Ireland; and Neil Grant, Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery, at the British Tourism and Travel Show.

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 220,000 people.
  • In 2015, we welcomed approximately 9.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.7 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.