70 Irish Tourism Enterprises Negotiate For 2019 Business in London
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin TD has joined Tourism Ireland and 70 Irish tourism businesses at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London today.
The event heralds the beginning of Ireland’s international promotional drive for the 2019 season. During the three-day travel fair, the Irish companies will engage in thousands of meetings with British and international tour operators – to negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2019.
Organisers estimate that £3.1 billion’s (about €3.5 billion’s) worth of business was done at last year’s WTM. Travel Ireland say Ireland’s presence at the World Travel Market is particularly important this year, in the context of Brexit and its implications for Irish tourism, in 2019 and beyond.
With around 182 countries and regions all vying for business at WTM, Tourism Ireland say they aim to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the global media and travel professionals in attendance. Working in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, the body will highlight Ireland’s unique offerings for potential visitors around the world, including our regional experiences, Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, as well as Dublin.
“While there are challenges for Irish tourism as a consequence of Brexit, I am confident the tourism industry can adapt quickly to enable continued growth from international markets. Great Britain is, and will remain, a very important market for tourism to Ireland. The Irish Government is committed to maintaining the strong business and cultural links that have existed between our two countries for centuries,” said Minister Griffin in a statement.
Latest CSO figures indicate that this will be another record year for Irish tourism, with more than 8.2 million people arriving during the January to September period – an increase of about 542,000 extra overseas visitors, when compared to 2017.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The large representation of Irish tourism companies at World Travel Market once again this year is extremely welcome. Since the UK referendum on Brexit, Tourism Ireland has been closely monitoring developments in the British outbound travel market. As our nearest neighbour and our largest market for overseas tourism, Britain will remain a priority for us,” said CEO of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons in a statement.
“In 2019, we will continue to work with our industry partners to highlight the ease of getting to Ireland, with almost 238,000 seats by air and 46,000 car spaces on ferries from Britain every week, as well as the wide variety of things to see and do on holiday here. Competitiveness and the value for money message will remain important.”