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30 May 2016

Ireland wows American travel professionals

Representatives of Pleasant Holidays – one of the largest tour operators in the United States – together with five of its top-selling travel agents, have been visiting Ireland, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland.

Pleasant Holidays launched Ireland as a new destination in January of this year, so the aim of this visit was to give the travel agents the chance to experience some of Ireland’s superb tourism offering, to ensure that when they return home they will be even more enthusiastic – and better equipped – to advise their clients about holidaying here.

Their packed programme saw them visit Dublin, Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of travel professionals to visit Ireland. Fact-finding visits like this are an important element of our annual programme of activity with the travel trade in the United States, as the travel agents get to experience at first-hand what’s on offer here for holidaymakers back home – helping them to sell the destination with more enthusiasm and expertise.”

Alison Metcalfe continued: “2015 was another record-breaking year for Irish tourism from the United States and Canada; and the outlook for this year is also positive, with the most recent CSO figures for February-April, showing growth of +20% in visitors from North America. We are undertaking an extensive programme of promotions throughout 2016, to keep the momentum going and build on that growth.”

  American travel agents get ready to cycle along the Great Western Greenway in Co Mayo. They are pictured with Virginia Goff, Tourism Ireland (second left); and Paul Harmon and Rachel Nolan, both Electric Escapes (back, centre).

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.