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11 Dec 2019

Killarney wins major German travel conference for October 2020

~ 300 influential German travel professionals and journalists will attend ~

DER Touristik, a major German tour operator and the largest tour operator from Mainland Europe to the island of Ireland, has announced it will host its prestigious annual travel academy in Killarney, in October 2020. The event is always held in leading travel destinations – most recently in Cuba in 2019 and in Finland in 2018. Killarney beat off challenges from a number of other top destinations to host the 2020 event.
The congress is DER Touristik’s annual event and will take place over three nights, in October 2020. Around 300 top German travel agents, as well as influential travel journalists and senior managers from DER Touristik – are expected to participate.
In addition to attending the travel academy, delegates will have the opportunity to participate in specially designed pre-conference tours across the island of Ireland – to enhance their knowledge of the tourism experiences and attractions on offer here and allow them to sample our legendary hospitality and welcome.
As well as generating valuable off-season business, giving the local economy a significant boost during a traditionally quieter time, the annual travel academy always helps boost German visitor numbers to the host destination in subsequent years.
Welcoming the news, Minister for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, said: “The decision by Der Touristik to hold its 2020 travel academy in Killarney is a real vote of confidence in Killarney and Ireland and is testament to the strong appeal of Kerry and the island of Ireland as a ‘must see’ destination for German holidaymakers. With around 300 travel professionals expected to attend, this event will provide us with a wonderful opportunity to showcase Kerry and Ireland as a destination with a wide range of things to see and do, particularly in the shoulder season months. It will also deliver longer-term benefits for Kerry and Ireland as a whole.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “It is a tremendous honour for Killarney to have won this prestigious event in the face of competition from other destinations.  Tourism Ireland is delighted to have played its part in securing this event, which confirms Killarney and Ireland as a world-class destination. Germany is our third-largest source of visitors and in 2018 we welcomed 784,000 German visitors to the island of Ireland. This travel academy presents a superb opportunity to show these influential travel agents what’s on offer here and will help increase the number of German holidaymakers to Ireland in 2021 and beyond.”
Paul Kelly, Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland, commented: “Securing international distribution for Irish tourism products is critical to driving greater regional and seasonal dispersal of business. Der Touristik is a key and valued partner to Irish tourism and we would like to congratulate Killarney and Tourism Ireland on winning this congress for Ireland in 2020. We are delighted to have this opportunity to support Tourism Ireland and our industry partners to showcase the very best of Irish tourism to this key group of visiting tour operators and agents.”
Kevin Keogh, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing for Der Touristik, said: “As the market leader for tourism from Germany to the island of Ireland for well over 50 years, DER Touristik is delighted to bring its 300 hundred top travel agents to Ireland for our 2020 Academy and to encourage them the discover the destination.”

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.
  • In 2018, we welcomed almost 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland (+5% on 2017), delivering revenue of €5.86 billion (+5%).
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 20+ million visitors in 2018.