British Tour Operators Become the Tourists on Irish Holiday
British tour operators took up Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland’s invite to explore the Emerald Isle.
The goal of the visit was to encourage UK companies to add more Irish attractions to their existing programmes. Over 25 British coach and group tour operators explored Ireland and attended a workshop in Dunboyne Castle Hotel. There they met with Irish tourism enterprises who made negotiations to increase Ireland’s role in the guests’ 2019 schedules.
“Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite these top British tour operators to Ireland, to see and experience some of our many visitor attractions, to encourage them to extend the Irish content of their existing programmes, or to include Ireland in their 2019 programmes,” said Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, in a statement.
The British tour operators took the opportunity to swap roles and become the tourists being shepherded around. They took part in a fact-finding visit, to experience for themselves the standard and variety of Ireland’s visitor offerings. The action-packed programme included trips to Carrickmacross Lace, Slane Castle, Trim Castle, the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, the Pearse Lyons Distillery and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. The tour operators also enjoyed a cookery demo at Ghan House in Carlingford and activities at Causey Farm near Navan.
Great Britain is a vital market for tourism to the island of Ireland, according to Wakley. It delivers 47 per cent of all overseas visitors to the country and around 30 percent of all overseas tourism revenue. Its contribution to the regional tourism economy and to season extension objectives are also significant, with 41 per cent of British visitors arriving between October and March.
This is only the first step in increasing tourism between Britain and Ireland, according to Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain. “Tourism Ireland is rolling out a busy, multi-media programme of promotions this autumn – to keep the island of Ireland ‘front of mind’ with British travelers and to position us well for 2019,” said Wakley.
Recently Tourism Ireland launched a multi-media autumn campaign, to boost late-season travel to Ireland from around the world. Upcoming events being promoted include the Bram Stoker Festival, Belfast International Arts Festival, Savour Kilkenny, Cork Jazz Festival, Wexford Festival Opera and New Year Festival (NYF) Dublin.
For the campaign, TV presenter Angela Scanlon will front a series of online videos – part of a new promotion with The Daily Telegraph in Britain to promote driving holidays here.