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06 Nov 2018

Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin kicks off Ireland’s tourism drive for 2019 at world’s largest travel fair

~ 70 Irish tourism enterprises engage in thousands of meetings, as they negotiate business for 2019 ~

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin TD joins Tourism Ireland and some 70 tourism businesses from across the island of Ireland at World Travel Market (WTM) in London today. WTM heralds the beginning of Ireland’s international promotional drive for the 2019 season. 

During the three-day travel fair, the Irish companies will engage in thousands of meetings with British and international tour operators – to negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2019. Organisers estimate that £3.1 billion’s (about €3.5 billion’s) worth of business was done at last year’s WTM. Ireland’s strong presence at World Travel Market is particularly important this year, in the context of Brexit and its implications for Irish tourism, in 2019 and beyond. 

With around 182 countries and regions all vying for business at WTM, Tourism Ireland aims to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the global media and travel professionals in attendance. Tourism Ireland – working in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and industry partners – will highlight Ireland’s unique offerings for potential visitors around the world, including our regional experiences, Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, as well as Dublin – Surprising by nature.

Minister Griffin said: “I am delighted to be able to attend World Travel Market, which provides an excellent platform for Tourism Ireland, and the participating tourism enterprises, to highlight Ireland’s world-class tourism experience to international tour operators. It’s great to see so many tourism enterprises from all parts of Ireland conducting hundreds of business meetings and doing a great job of selling tourism to the global travel trade. While there are challenges for Irish tourism as a consequence of Brexit, I am confident that the tourism industry can adapt quickly to enable continued growth from international markets. Great Britain is, and will remain, a very important market for tourism to Ireland. The Irish Government is committed to maintaining the strong business and cultural links that have existed between our two countries for centuries. I must commend Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Northern Ireland and all our tourism partners for their concerted efforts to address the implications of Brexit and to keep the island of Ireland high on international travel wish lists.”

Latest CSO figures indicate that this will be another record year for Irish tourism, with more than 8.2 million people arriving during the January to September period – an increase of +7%, or about 542,000 extra overseas visitors, when compared to 2017. Growth has come from all of our main market areas.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The large representation of Irish tourism companies at World Travel Market once again this year is extremely welcome. Since the UK referendum on Brexit, Tourism Ireland has been closely monitoring developments in the British outbound travel market. As our nearest neighbour and our largest market for overseas tourism, Britain will remain a priority for us. 

“In 2019, we will continue to work with our industry partners to highlight the ease of getting to the island of Ireland, with almost 238,000 seats by air and 46,000 car spaces on ferries from Britain every week, as well as the wide variety of things to see and do on holiday here. Competitiveness and the value for money message will remain important. We are committed to making 2019 another strong year for Irish tourism.”

World Travel Market is the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar, with around 50,000 travel professionals from 182 countries and regions around the world and over 3,000 international media in attendance. 
  Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin; Biddy Hughes, Westport House; and Eithne Cosgrove, Hotel Westport, at World Travel Market in London.

Notes To Editors

Partners on the Tourism Ireland stand at World Travel Market 2018 include:

  • Abbey, Central and Nesbitt Arms Hotels
  • Abbey Ireland & UK
  • Aillwee Caves & Birds of Prey Centre
  • Ashling Hotel
  • Bill O’Brien’s Doolin Ferry
  • Castle Leslie Estate
  • Causeway Coastal Route 
  • Celtic Group Hostels
  • Choice Hotel Group
  • Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience
  • Connemara Celtic Crystal Visitor Centre
  • Cronins Coaches
  • Culture & Heritage Tours Ireland
  • Dalata Hotel Group  
  • DNA – Dublin’s Northside Attractions
  • Do Dublin Tours
  • Doolin2Aran Ferries
  • EI Travel Group
  • Experience Ireland Golf & Travel
  • Flannery’s Hotel Galway
  • Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism
  • Galway 2020 – European Capital of Culture
  • GPO Witness History
  • Guinness Storehouse and Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny
  • Heritage Island
  • Holiday Ireland Hotels
  • Hotel Westport
  • Irish Ferries
  • Jameson Distillery
  • Joe Walsh Tours
  • John Callely International 
  • Killarney Jaunting Cars / 
  • Tangney Tours
  • Killary Fjord and Dublin Discovered Boat Tours 
  • Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden
  • Malahide Castle and Gardens
  • MBA & Ireland’s Choice
  • McGettigan Hotels
  • Mespil Hotel and Sligo Park Hotel
  • Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
  • Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
  • Pearse Lyons Distillery
  • Railtours Ireland First Class
  • Seamus Heaney HomePlace
  • Select Hotels of Ireland
  • Shannon Heritage
  • Spike Island
  • SRC Hotels Ireland
  • Stena Line
  • Teeling Whiskey Distillery
  • Trinity Hospitality
  • The Irish Tourism Group
  • Titanic Belfast
  • Visit Armagh
  • Visit Derry
  • Visit Belfast
  • Westport House 
  • White’s Hotels & Group Travel