A group of American travel professionals has been visiting the island of Ireland with Goway Travel, a leading tour operator. They were here as guests of Tourism Ireland, Tourism NI and Fáilte Ireland.
The visiting group undertook an action-packed fact-finding visit which included Belfast, Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry and Limerick.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said:“Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite Goway Travel and its top travel agency representatives to visit the island of Ireland. We believe it is extremely important for travel decision-makers such as these to experience for themselves the high standard of our tourism offering and the many things to see and do here, so they are better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans.
We have seen superb growth in North American visitor numbers so far again this year, with the most recent CSO figures for February to April 2017 showing growth of almost +26% – an extra 73,100 North American visitors compared with the same three-month period last year. Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotions to keep the momentum going and build on that growth.”
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. 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.
American travel agents at King John's Castle in Limerick, with Virginia Goff, Tourism Ireland (right); Peter McMahon, Fáilte Ireland (left); and tour guide Peter Byrne (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 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 www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 19.37 million visitors in 2016.