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21 Mar 2018

Promoting the island of Ireland to the travel trade in Britain

Eight 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 over 2,500 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 2018 and beyond, or to extend the programmes in which Ireland already features.
“I’m delighted that our tourism partners from Ireland have joined us in Birmingham this week, highlighting our tourism offering to the influential British travel trade,” said Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain. “Since the UK referendum on Brexit, Tourism Ireland has been closely monitoring developments in the British outbound travel market. The decline in the value of sterling has made holidays and short breaks in Ireland more expensive, which is in turn impacting on travel from Britain, as evidenced in the CSO figures for – which confirm a decline of -4.6% in British visitor numbers. Therefore, competitiveness and the value for money message are more important than ever in Britain right now. 

“Over the coming months, we will be rolling out an extensive programme of activity, to boost business and defend our share of this competitive market. Our presence at this year’s British Tourism and Travel Show is just one element of our activity with the travel trade. Our aim is to enthuse the British travel trade, including online and traditional travel agents and tour operators, so they feature more island of Ireland holidays in their programmes for 2018.”

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, the Heron Tower, Nelson’s Column, Selfridges in London and Birmingham and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge in Newcastle upon Tyne, as well as the SEC Armadillo and SSE Hydro in Glasgow. For the first time ever, the fountains in London’s Trafalgar Square, Tower 42 in London, the Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, the National Football Museum in Manchester and ‘Hope’ – the 25.2 metre Blue Whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling at the Natural History Museum in London – participated in the initiative.
  Jim Maher, Select Hotels of Ireland; Juno Thompson, Tourism Ireland; and Neil Grant, Celtic Ross Hotel, 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 281,000 people across the island.
  • In 2017, we welcomed approximately 10.65 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.78 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 19.3 million visitors in 2017.