To mark their 50th year selling holidays to the island of Ireland, the sales staff of leading Dutch tour operator, BBI Travel, flew to Cork at the weekend, to take part in their very own ‘Gathering’. The group – whose visit was supported by Tourism Ireland – had a packed programme which took in West Cork, Kenmare, Killarney, the Ring of Kerry and Kinsale.
Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s manager in the Netherlands, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to support the visit of BBI Travel, so they could experience at first-hand some of what this part of Ireland has to offer for Dutch holidaymakers. Everyone in the group was extremely impressed by the magnificent scenery, the variety of things to see and do, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met.
“Although the major focus of Tourism Ireland’s promotional activity to highlight The Gathering is in countries with a strong Diaspora connection – like Britain, the US, Canada and Australia – Tourism Ireland is also working hard in markets like the Netherlands to highlight Ireland and The Gathering. As. well as directly targeting the Diaspora and those with a connection to Ireland, Tourism Ireland is also working closely with influential tour operators and travel agents, so that they will encourage their clients to come here this year to enjoy some of the many festivals and events of The Gathering. Our message for Dutch holidaymakers is that there has never been a better time to visit.”
Henk van der Kooi, managing director of BBI Travel (right), tries his hand at croquet on the lawn of Carrig House near Killorglin; he is pictured with Frank Slattery, owner of Carrig House (second right), and the sales staff of BBI Travel.
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.