• Cyril McAree

Selling Ireland To Overseas Tour Operators Ahead of Brexit

With just 39 days remaining before the Brexit deadline of 31st October, tourism businesses are ramping up their preparations by attending Fáilte Ireland tailored workshops targeting the UK and Canadian markets.

The first of the two workshops took place in Carrick-on-Shannon on the 16th September where Irish tourism businesses sold directly to some of the UK’s top tour operators.

Up to 945 one-to-one meetings between Irish and UK businesses took place over the course of the day with the goal of securing business for 2020 and beyond.

Over the next three weeks 21 British and 18 Canadian tour operators will attend workshops hosted by Fáilte Ireland in partnership with Tourism Ireland. The tour operators will hold over 1,755 one-to-one meetings with 130 Irish tourism businesses at these workshops.

Today’s workshop takes place in the Landmark Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, with a group of leading British coach and group travel agents where they will meet over 75 Irish tourism businesses from throughout the country.

This workshop will be followed by the Canadian Workshop, on the 3rd October, at the Johnstown Estate, Enfield, Co. Meath.

The workshops are designed to help tourism businesses improve performance in the face of increasing uncertainty and the potential impact of Britain’s proposed withdrawal from the EU.

Oonagh Kelly, Trade and Sales Platforms Manager with Fáilte Ireland stressed the benefits for the Irish tourism industry: “Contacts and contracts made at these workshops will assist ongoing growth in Irish tourism in 2020. The UK 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 the UK and Canada.

“While it is still difficult to quantify the range and scope of the impact that Brexit will have on the tourism industry, Fáilte Ireland research has shown that it is the number one concern amongst businesses. Our key message for all businesses is to ‘prepare and diversify’ and Fáilte Ireland is working closely with tourism businesses to support the development of a world-class industry in the face of challenges on the horizon.”

To further showcase what Ireland offers, Fáilte Ireland designed tailor-made tours for the travel agents to visit Donegal. These trips provide an opportunity for overseas operators to experience our attractions first-hand, which plays a key role in closing the deal and persuading these agents to choose Ireland as a holiday destination for their customers.

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