A group of travel agents from Canada has been visiting Ireland this week, in advance of attending a B2B workshop with Irish tourism businesses in Dublin. They are here as guests of Tourism Ireland in Toronto and Fáilte Ireland.
The travel agents’ packed itinerary has included visits to attractions like Trinity College and the Book of Kells, the Giant’s Causeway, the Rock of Cashel, Derrynane House, King John’s Castle and the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens. Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said, “We are delighted to bring these influential Canadian travel agents to Ireland for the B2B workshop – which provides such an important opportunity for our Irish tourism partners.” Tourism Ireland has unveiled a new strategy to increase the number of Canadian visitors to the island of Ireland by 47 per cent by the end of 2016. Canadian visitors are highly prized as they tend to stay longer, spend more and visit more of the regions of Ireland than the average visitor. Metcalfe continued, “Canada has performed well for tourism to the Ireland in recent years and the future is undoubtedly bright. However, we can’t take this performance for granted; we need to adapt and respond to new opportunities to ensure that success continues. Building on the strong performance of recent years, and this year’s very welcome increased number of direct air flights from Canada, we have set challenging targets for the 2014-2016 period. I am confident that this new, focused strategy will deliver on the targets we have set for growth in Canadian visitors, between now and 2016.” According to the latest CSO figures, visitor numbers from North America increased by 11 per cent for January to July this year, an extra 74,300 visitors from North America compared with the same seven-month period in 2013.
Pictured: Canadian travel agents with Helen Cole, Tourism Ireland (right); Ann Marie Finnerty, Fáilte Ireland (third left); and Katie O’Byrne, tour guide (eighth left); at Derrynane House in Caherdaniel.