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13 Mar 2017

Italian travel agents say ‘ciao’ to Ireland’s Ancient East

One of Italy’s leading tour operators, Cocktail Viaggi, and 15 of its top-producing travel agents, have been visiting Ireland’s Ancient East this weekend – as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. 

The group was here on a fact-finding visit, to sample the superb experiences on offer in Ireland’s Ancient East for Italian holidaymakers. The aim of the visit was to educate and enthuse them about Ireland – so they are better equipped to sell the destination to their clients when they return home.

Their itinerary included a tour of the Medieval Mile in Kilkenny, a visit to Kilkenny Castle, as well as a bodhrán session in Kyteler’s Inn. Then it was on to Co Wicklow, where they visited Glendalough and Powerscourt House & Gardens. The group also took part in a cookery demo with celebrity chef Catherine Fulvio, at Ballyknocken House & Cookery School. They also enjoyed a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, Christ Church Cathedral and Trinity College, in Dublin.

Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s Manager in Italy, said: “Working with the important travel trade – and inviting travel agents to come and experience what’s on offer here – is a key element of Tourism Ireland’s promotional programme in Italy. Our aim is that when they return home, the travel agents will be even more enthusiastic about the destination, helping to secure a greater share of their business for Ireland.” 

Niamh Kinsella continued: “2016 was the best year ever for tourism from Italy to Ireland, when we welcomed almost 345,000 Italian visitors, up +7% compared on 2015. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that success continues and we have an extensive programme of promotions under way in Italy in 2017.” 
  Catherine Fulvio (fifth left) welcomes Italian travel agents and Siobhán Wright, Tourism Ireland (second right), to Ballyknocken House & Cookery School, Co Wicklow.

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 19.37 million visitors in 2016.