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20 Mar 2017

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

Fourteen (14) tourism companies from the island of Ireland have joined Tourism Ireland at the British Tourism and Travel Show this week, at the NEC in Birmingham.

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

The two-day event provides 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 2017 and beyond, or to extend the programmes in which Ireland already features.

Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s Deputy Head of Great Britain, said: “Great Britain is the largest market for tourism to Ireland and we were pleased to see visitor numbers increase by +11% in 2016, an extra 377,200 British visitors compared with 2015. Our presence at this year’s British Tourism and Travel Show is just one element of Tourism Ireland’s 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 2017.”

Last week, Tourism Ireland participated in and promoted 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. For the first time ever, the Heron Tower and City Hall in London, Bicester shopping outlet and The Kelpies in Scotland participated in the initiative.
  Kate Wilde, JacTravel; Jim Maher, Select Hotels of Ireland; and Linda Duncan, Tourism Ireland, at the British Tourism and Travel Show in Birmingham.

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.