~ Travel agents compete to be ‘2019 Emerald Ireland Specialist’ ~
Eight top-performing travel agents from China, India, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are enjoying an action-packed visit around the island of Ireland this week. The group are here as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism NI.
Their visit is the ‘grand finale’ of Tourism Ireland’s ‘Ireland Specialists’ online training programme – which is designed for travel agents and tour operators in emerging tourism markets, to help them sell holidays to the island of Ireland. The travel agents all study six different modules on the island of Ireland, completing each module with a fun quiz. Travel agents who got full marks for each module received a special gold ‘Ireland Specialists’ certificate – and the chance to travel to the island of Ireland.
Their action-packed itinerary includes the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Kylemore Abbey, Voya Seaweed Baths, the Museum of Free Derry, the Giant’s Causeway and Titanic Belfast. The travel agents have also been competing in fun challenges each day, with the overall winner crowned the ‘2019 Emerald Ireland Specialist’ during a networking event at the end of the trip.
“As a reward for excelling in their ‘Ireland Specialists’ training, we invited this group of travel agents to come and experience some of the many things to see and do on the island of Ireland,” said David Boyce, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Asia, Middle East and UK Inbound. “Familiarisation trips such as this are extremely important, as influential travel agents get to experience at first-hand our superb tourism offering; our aim is to enthuse the travel agents about the destination, so that when they return home they will be even better informed to advise their clients when planning and booking their holidays.
“We have an extensive programme of promotions under way throughout 2019, which includes working with key travel agents and tour operators in China, India, and the Middle East. Tourism Ireland is committed to growing visitor numbers from emerging tourism markets and familiarisation trips such as this play a significant role in helping us achieve this goal.”
Gisèle Mansfield (back, third left) and Alison Johnston (back, fifth left), both Kildare Village, welcome Tori Henry, Tourism Ireland (front, right), Peter McMahon, Fáilte Ireland (back, fifth right) and travel agents from China, India, Qatar and the UAE to Kildare Village.
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 around 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland (+6% on 2017), delivering revenue of approximately €6.1 billion (+10%).
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 20+ million visitors in 2018.