Tourism Ireland has scooped a major travel award in Canada – it was voted ‘Best Tourist Board – Europe/Middle East/Asia’ at the prestigious Agents’ Choice Awards Gala, hosted by Baxter Media in Toronto.
Agents’ Choice is an annual travel industry poll in Canada; each year, around 6,000 Canadian travel agents select their favourite suppliers in more than 40 different categories – ranging from tourist boards to airlines, tour operators to cruise lines, coach operators to car rentals. Tourism Ireland beat off stiff competition in the ‘Best Tourist Board – Europe/Middle East/Asia’ category, coming in in first place – ahead of Iceland Tourism, Visit Portugal, Switzerland Tourism, VisitBritain and Atout France.
“We are delighted to have won ‘Best Tourist Board – Europe/Middle East/Asia’, at this year’s Agents’ Choice Awards,” said Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Canada. “We are constantly looking at innovative and engaging ways of reaching Canadian travellers, to raise awareness of the island of Ireland and to ensure Ireland stands out from other destinations. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our travel trade partners across Canada – who continue to play a very important role in helping us to continue to grow visitor numbers to Ireland.”
The Canadian market has performed strongly for tourism to the island of Ireland in recent years. Ireland is now the seventh most popular European destination for Canadian travellers, in a growing outbound market. In 2018, around 240,000 Canadians visited the island of Ireland, spending about €230 million. And, holiday visitor numbers from Canada have more than doubled over the last five years – from 72,000 in 2013 to around 165,000 in 2018. Canadian visitors are highly prized as they tend to stay longer, spend more and visit more of the regions of Ireland than the average visitor.
One of the key factors working in our favour for this year is the number of direct flights from Canada to Ireland. Summer 2019 will see an estimated 10,627 direct, one-way air seats available each week from Canada to Ireland – from major gateways including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Halifax, Hamilton and Calgary.
Sandra Moffatt and Dana Welch, both Tourism Ireland, with the award for ‘Best Tourist Board – Europe/Middle East/Asia’ at the Agents’ Choice Awards, in Toronto.
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.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is Ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 20+ million visitors in 2018.