This is Tourism Ireland’s corporate website. 
If you are looking for information about holidays on the island of Ireland, please visit


10 May 2018

American tour operators check out the island of Ireland

A group of top American tour operators – all specialists in group tours and responsible for making the travel arrangements for a diverse range of large groups, including alumni groups – has been visiting the island of Ireland this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Tourism NI and Fáilte Ireland.

The visiting group undertook an action-packed fact-finding visit, which included the Titanic Belfast, Glenarm Castle and the Giant’s Causeway, as well as The Little Museum of Dublin, Kylemore Abbey, Glen Keen Farm & Visitor Centre and the Sliabh Liag Distillery. They also enjoyed a Galway food tour and a tour of the oyster farm at DK Connemara Oysters.

“Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite these top American tour operators 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,” said Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America.

“Last year, we welcomed a record 1.83 million North American visitors to the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland has prioritised North America for 2018, as a market which offers a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure. Our aim is to deliver a +5% increase in visitor numbers and +7% increase in revenue from North America this year. A number of factors are working in our favour, including more airline seats than ever before from the US, as well as the strength and competitiveness of the vacation experience right around the island of Ireland.”
  American tour operators with tour guide Siobhán McDonald (front, left); Paul McDonagh, Tourism Ireland (front, fourth right); and Debbie Moran, Fáilte Ireland (front, right), at Sliabh Liag Distillery in Co Donegal.

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.

Previous Press Release

08 May 2018

1 million Italians to tune in to Donegal