The first ever Ireland travel trade workshop in Doha, Qatar, took place last week. Organised by Tourism Ireland and sponsored by Qatar Airways, the workshop was attended by some 70 influential travel professionals based in Qatar.
Among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Qatar is a growing market for Irish tourism and this received a significant boost earlier this year when Qatar Airways launched its new daily flight between Doha and Dublin.
Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons also undertook a series of engagements with key decision-makers in the travel sector in Doha last week – including Qatar Airways, Al Tawfeeq Travel, Regency Travel and Tours, Overseas Travel Bureau and Orbit Travel.
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“We are delighted to be in Doha this week and to have the opportunity to showcase Ireland to influential travel professionals,” said Gibbons. “As an island destination, we know that convenient, direct flights are critical to growing inbound tourism, so the Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Dublin is certainly good news for Irish tourism, expanding travel options for holidaymakers and business travellers from Qatar and the Middle East wishing to visit Ireland. We look forward to continued strong co-operation with Qatar Airways, to highlight ease of access to Ireland.”
In 2016, approximately 70,000 visitors from the GCC journeyed to Ireland, up 7% on 2015. Ireland's horse-racing and golf, as well as screen tourism – and, in particular, its connections with Star Wars and Game of Thrones – have helped raise the profile of the icountry in the GCC in recent years.