• Cyril McAree

Selling Ireland To Overseas Tour Operators As Autumn Sales Blitz Commences

Fáilte Ireland will today host the first in a series of three custom-made workshops as part of a targeted 2019 sales drive to provide an opportunity for Irish tourism businesses to meet and pitch directly to overseas buyers from the UK, Canada and Long Haul markets.

Over the next few weeks, nearly 200 Irish tourism businesses will engage in over 9,000 one-to-one meetings with approximately 65 top British, Canadian and Long Haul tour operators at workshops hosted by Fáilte Ireland in partnership with overseas marketing agency Tourism Ireland.

Today’s workshop takes place in the Dunboyne Castle Hotel, Co. Meath, with a group of key British coach and group travel agents attending the first of these events. This workshop is followed by the GB and Ireland Inbound Workshop on 25th September in The Heritage Killenard, Co. Laois, and the Canada Workshop on 16th October at the Hodson Bay Hotel, Co. Westmeath.

Speaking today, Oonagh Kelly, Trade Familiarisation and Platforms Manager with Fáilte Ireland, stressed the benefits for the Irish trade involved:"Contacts and contracts made over the next few weeks will assist ongoing growth in Irish tourism in 2019. The buyers have the capacity to deliver significant amounts of visitors to Ireland throughout the year as Ireland continues to have very strong appeal as a destination."

This series of sales workshops will focus on attracting more overseas visitors from our key UK and Canadian markets as well as long haul visitors travelling via the UK. In terms of Britain, the workshops are part of Fáilte Ireland’s focus to continue pitching for the best British potential and off-set the challenges of Brexit.

"With regards to Canada, the sales drive seeks to capitalise on increased air access into Ireland and to develop opportunities for long haul destinations to include Ireland as a holiday experience. In 2017, over 200,000 Canadian tourists visited Ireland, spending an estimated €180 million so Canada really is an important market for Ireland. We are also focussing on using Canadians' tendency to travel south between December to March on account of their harsh winters to extend Ireland’s traditional tourism season by showcasing the breath of experiences available in Ireland outside of the summer months.”

To further showcase what Ireland can truly offer, Fáilte Ireland has also put together a number of specially crafted tours for the travel agents to get out and about, learn more about the country first-hand, and really get an authentic taste of what an Irish holiday can offer. These trips provide a great opportunity for overseas operators to experience the full-on Ireland experience and can play a key role in closing the deal and persuading these agents to choose Ireland as a holiday destination for their customers.

The British coach and group travel agents were out and about at the weekend visiting a number of Irish attractions, which included:

Visit to Carrickmacross Lace, Co Monaghan

Cookery Demonstration Ghan House, Co Louth

Historical walking tour of Medieval town of Carlingford

Louth Adventures – harbour boat trip

Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, Meath

Slane Castle Tour

Slane Castle Distillery Tour

Causey Farm – Irish Cultural Activity

Epic – The Irish Emigration Museum

Pearse Lyons Distillery at St. James Street, Dublin

The Brazen Head (officially Ireland's oldest pub, dating back to 1198).

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