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19 Jan 2017

Creating ‘Celtic Connections’ for the island of Ireland

Showcasing Ireland to Scottish travel professionals

A delegation of tourism businesses from the island of Ireland was in Glasgow this week, taking part in Tourism Ireland’s first promotion of 2017 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 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 for the participating companies from the island of Ireland 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 2016 was a very good year for visitor numbers to Ireland from Britain, with the latest CSO figures showing an increase of over +11% for January to November. 

“Since the UK referendum on Brexit, Tourism Ireland has been closely monitoring developments in the British outbound travel market. As our nearest neighbour and our largest market for overseas tourism, Britain will remain a priority for us. The depreciation of sterling against the euro since the referendum means that value for money will be a key message for us in Britain this year. In 2017, Tourism Ireland will continue to work with our industry partners to highlight the ease of getting to the island of Ireland.” 

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.”

  Amy Riddell, Tourism Ireland; Assumpta O’Neill, Titanic Belfast; Norma Dodds and Terry Sapwell, both Dodds of Troon, at the Celtic Connections 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 220,000 people.
  • In 2016, we welcomed approximately 10.5 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.4 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 18 million visitors in 2016.