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10 May 2019

International tour operators give Ireland the ‘thumbs up’!

More than 200 top international buyers from 30 different countries, including the US, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, China, India and the Middle East, are hearing all about the island of Ireland at ExploreGB 2019.

As part of its ongoing collaboration with VisitBritain, Tourism Ireland – together with tourism companies from the island of Ireland – is at ExploreGB, VisitBritain’s flagship international event which is taking place this year in Harrogate, Yorkshire. The two-day workshop involves a series of pre-scheduled, one-to-one appointments – showcasing Britain and the island of Ireland to the influential audience of international buyers and helping to deliver additional itineraries and brochure pages featuring both destinations. 

ExploreGB is an ideal opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight the British-Irish Visa Scheme to buyers in attendance from China; the scheme enables Chinese travellers to visit both Ireland and the UK on a single visa of either country. Tourism Ireland is also reminding buyers from the Middle East that Emiratis now enjoy visa-free travel to Ireland. 

David Boyce, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Asia, Middle East and UK Inbound, said: “We are really pleased to attend ExploreGB once again this year – which provides another important platform for Tourism Ireland and our partners to showcase and sell the island of Ireland to key international travel buyers. We work closely with VisitBritain, particularly in long-haul markets like China, to target people travelling to Britain and to encourage them to visit the island of Ireland as part of their trip, and vice versa.”
  Katie O’Neill, Tourism Ireland; Michele Otters, Cox & Kings; and Assumpta O’Neill, Titanic Belfast, at ExploreGB in Harrogate.

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, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 20+ million visitors in 2018.