One of Italy’s leading tour operators, Francorosso, and 11 of its top-producing travel agents, have been visiting Ireland’s Ancient East this week – as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland.
The group is here on a fact-finding visit, to sample at first-hand the superb experiences on offer in Ireland’s Ancient East for Italian holidaymakers. The aim of the visit was to familiarise the travel agents with Ireland, so that when they return home they will be even better informed to advise their clients when planning and booking their holidays.
During their time here, the group visited Kilkenny Castle, the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens in Kildare and Huntington Castle in Carlow. They also enjoyed tours of the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College and Dublin Castle.
Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Italy, said: “Italy is an important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and visits like this are a key element of the work that Tourism Ireland undertakes each year with the travel trade in Italy. There really is no substitute for being able to come here and experience what Ireland has to offer at first-hand; our aim is to enthuse the travel agents about the destination, so that when they return home, they are better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans.
“2016 was the best year ever for tourism from Italy to Ireland, when we welcomed almost 345,000 Italian visitors, up +7% on 2015. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that growth continues and we are rolling out a busy programme of promotions in Italy this year.”
Italian travel agents with Siobhán Wright, Tourism Ireland (second left), at Kilkenny Castle.
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.