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22 Oct 2019

Start spreading the news! Top American travel agents check out Ireland

Eleven (11) top travel agents from the US are visiting Ireland this week – as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. They’re all members of Virtuoso – an international network of luxury travel agencies – and they are visiting Ireland for the very first time!
The aim of their visit is to showcase some of the many things to see and do here for high end American travellers and to really enthuse the travel agents about selling Ireland. Their action-packed programme includes Dromoland Castle, the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum, Adare Manor, the Jameson Distillery Midleton, House of Waterford Crystal, Dunbrody Famine Ship, Hook Lighthouse and Glendalough.
“We’re delighted these travel agents took time out of their busy schedules to come and experience our luxury tourism offering and see for themselves what Ireland has to offer their clients,” said Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America. “This is a first-time visit for all of the travel agents – so, our aim is that when they return home, they will really knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the destination, helping to secure a greater share of their business for Ireland.”
Alison Metcalfe continued: “Tourism Ireland has prioritised North America as a market which offers a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure. The most recent CSO figures, for January-August, indicate growth of +5% in arrivals from North America over the same eight-month period last year. Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of targeted promotional activity to continue to grow North American visitor numbers and, in particular, to encourage more holidaymakers to explore our regions and less-visited attractions, during the shoulder and off-season months.”
Margaret O’Shaughnessy (back, fourth right) welcomes US travel agents to the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum; also pictured are Hillarie McGuinness, Tourism Ireland (back, third right); and Letty Cronin, Fáilte Ireland (front, second right).

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 approximately €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.