A group of leading UK-based tour operators are visiting Ireland this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland. They are here to attend a B2B workshop with Irish tourism enterprises in Dublin, organised by Fáilte Ireland, and to take part in a fact-finding visit of Ireland.
The aim of the tour operators’ visit is to help grow Ireland’s share of the huge, worldwide tourism market, with a particular focus on increasing business from new and emerging tourism markets, like India and China. The group kicked off their time here with a tour of the Titanic Experience and a Titanic Trail walking tour in Cobh and paid a visit to the Jameson Experience in Midleton. They also did a walking tour of the Viking Quarter in Waterford; visited Hook Lighthouse and Kilmokea House and Gardens in Co Wexford; and even enjoyed a hurling demo in Kilkenny!
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets, said: “The majority of our overseas visitors come from the core markets of Great Britain, North America and Mainland Europe, and while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by ‘new’ tourism markets, which we believe will play an increasing role in the future of the travel and tourism industry. It is therefore crucial that influential operators working in these markets get to experience Ireland at first-hand and the high standard of the tourism product on offer here. For many of the group, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our spectacular scenery, the variety of things to see and do, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met.”
UK-based tour operators with Susan Byrne, Tourism Ireland (front right), and Letty Cronin, Fáilte Ireland (back, right) at the Titanic Experience in Cobh.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 087-685 9027
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 approximately 200,000 people.
• In 2012, an estimated 7.27 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.51 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, currently rolling out in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, consisting of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country; Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.