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30 Nov 2018

Spotlight on Ireland in Phoenix, Arizona

~ Tourism Ireland attends major US travel conference ~

Tourism Ireland is attending the USTOA (United States Tour Operators Association) Annual Conference & Marketplace in Phoenix, Arizona.

The conference is an important event in the annual travel calendar, bringing together leading North American travel professionals with suppliers and destinations from around the world. It’s a valuable opportunity to meet, and do business with, influential American tour operators. The event involves five busy days of one-to-one appointments and networking workshops.

Working with the travel trade – including tour operators, travel agents and online travel agents (OTAs) – is a key element of Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of activity in the United States. 

North America is an important market for tourism to the island of Ireland. Last year, we welcomed a record 1.8 million visitors from North America to the island of Ireland. And, the growth momentum continues in 2018, with latest CSO figures indicating an increase of almost +13.7% in arrivals from the US and Canada for the January to October period.

“Tourism Ireland has prioritised North America, as a market which offers a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure,” said Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America. “Our presence at USTOA is another excellent opportunity to engage with influential tour operators, as we prepare for 2019. Travel agents and tour operators continue to be an important booking channel for US holidaymakers – so a key element of our strategy involves working closely with the travel trade, both online and offline.”
  Virginia Goff, Tourism Ireland; and Colin Wynne, Abbey Tours, at the USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace in Phoenix.

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 around 325,000 people across the island.
  • By the end of 2018, we will have welcomed around 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €6.1 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 19.2 million visitors in 2017.