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18 Sep 2019

Top Middle Eastern tour operators check out the island of Ireland

Seven leading tour operators from the Middle East are exploring the island of Ireland this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism NI.
The group’s action-packed itinerary includes Adare Manor, King John’s Castle, the Irish National Stud and Gardens, Slane Castle, Hillsborough Castle, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Killeavy Castle. The aim of the visit is to encourage these influential travel professionals to extend the Ireland content of their programmes and itineraries.
Aisling McDermott, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Asia & Middle East, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite these influential travel professionals to visit the island of Ireland, to sample some of our top visitor attractions and experiences at first-hand.”
In 2018, we welcomed around 71,000 visitors from the Middle East to the island of Ireland. As well as highlighting ease of access to Ireland, a key message for Tourism Ireland is the fact that Ireland is now visa free for UAE nationals.
Aisling McDermott continued: “Seeing is definitely believing – there is really no substitute for being able to come here and experience what Ireland has to offer at first-hand. Our aim is that when these travel professionals return home, they will be better informed and really enthusiastic about the destination, which will in turn help to secure a greater share of their business for the island of Ireland.”
UAE tour operators at King John’s Castle, with Siobhan Naughton, Tourism Ireland (fourth right) and Peter McMahon, Fáilte Ireland (left).

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.