• Cyril McAree

Creating ‘Celtic Connections’ for the Island of Ireland


A delegation of tourism businesses from the island of Ireland was in Glasgow this week, taking part in Tourism Ireland’s first promotion of 2018 in Scotland – a B2B workshop and networking event with key Scottish travel professionals.

PIC SHOWS: Amy Riddell, Tourism Ireland; Cathy Cowan and Aisling Arnold, both Arnold Hotels; football legend Packie Bonner; Sarah Meehan, Donegal Tourism; and Fionn Davenport, Lonely Planet, at Tourism Ireland’s Celtic Connections workshop in Glasgow.

In all, 34 tourism businesses from Ireland – including hotels, visitor attractions, ferry companies and regional tourism organisations – had the opportunity to meet with influential Scottish tour operators and travel agents, as well as local travel and lifestyle journalists. Lonely Planet writer Fionn Davenport also joined Tourism Ireland at the event, helping to deliver the message about some of the many great reasons to visit the island of Ireland in 2018. The annual event provides a valuable platform for the participating companies from Ireland to network and win business for the year ahead.

“I am delighted that so many of our tourism partners from Ireland have joined us in Glasgow this week, highlighting our tourism offering to influential Scottish tour operators and travel agents,” said Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain. “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 remains a priority for us; it delivers 47% of all overseas visitors and around 30% of all overseas tourism revenue. The depreciation of sterling against the euro means that value for money will continue to be a key message for us in Britain this year. Throughout 2018, Tourism Ireland will work with our industry partners to highlight the ease of getting to the island of Ireland.”

Tourism Ireland’s workshop and networking event was timed to coincide with Celtic Connections, Scotland’s premier winter music festival, so it was also a good opportunity to highlight our music and culture, important components of the holiday experience in Ireland, particularly for our ‘culturally curious’ audience.

Julie Wakley continued: “Music and culture are key components of the holiday experience in Ireland, so platforms like Celtic Connections help us to spread the word about the island of Ireland as a premier destination with an appealing cultural offering. Our message is that there has never been a better time for Scottish holidaymakers to come and see that for themselves.”

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