Eight tourism companies from the island of Ireland travelled to Fort Lauderdale in Florida this week, to join Tourism Ireland at the fifth annual Global Travel Marketplace (GTM).
The busy, three-day event involves a programme of bespoke one-to-one appointments and networking sessions – providing a wonderful opportunity for the tourism enterprises from Ireland to meet, and do business with, top-producing travel advisors from North America, ensuring the island of Ireland is ‘top of mind’ for them when recommending destinations to their clients.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said: “Our presence at this year’s Global Travel Marketplace in Florida provides another excellent platform to spread the word about the many great things to see and do right around the island of Ireland.
“In 2016, we welcomed a record 1.6 million North American visitors to the island of Ireland, worth over €1.3 billion to our economy. Tourism Ireland has prioritised North America for 2017, as a market which offers a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure. Our aim is to deliver a +6% increase in visitor numbers and a +9% increase in revenue from North America this year. A number of factors are working in our favour, including more airline seats than ever before, from 20 gateway cities across North America to the island of Ireland, with numerous new flights and expanded services in the pipeline for this year.”
We have seen superb growth in North American visitor numbers so far again this year, with the most recent CSO figures for January to May 2017 showing growth of +23.6% – an extra 126,700 American and Canadian visitors compared with the same five-month period last year. Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of targeted promotional activity to keep the momentum going and build on that growth.
Eimear Winters, Castle Leslie Estate; Jeremy Perrin, EI Travel Group; Amanda Horan, Fáilte Ireland; Eóin McGrath, Culloden Estate & Spa; Ann Kilcoyne, Glasnevin Cemetery Museum; Hillarie McGuinness, Tourism Ireland; and Stephanie Hayes, Clontarf Castle Hotel, at GTM in Florida.
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 281,000 people across the island.
- In 2016, we welcomed approximately 10.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.3 billion.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 19.37 million visitors in 2016.