Tourism Ireland and VisitBritain today announced a new agreement to boost tourist numbers from long-haul markets such as China and India. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, and Sandie Dawe, CEO of VisitBritain.
The announcement was made in London, at a business event, organised by the British Irish Chamber of Commerce to mark this week’s State Visit of President Michael D Higgins to Britain.
Under the agreement, Tourism Ireland and VisitBritain will work more closely together – particularly in long-haul markets outside of Europe and North America – to promote the islands of Ireland and Great Britain as destinations to be visited as part of a single holiday. The aims of the MoU are twofold: to align the work of both agencies, combining their activities in markets where appropriate; and to increase visitor numbers and revenue to both the island of Ireland and Great Britain from long-haul markets. Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “We already enjoy a very good working relationship with our colleagues in VisitBritain. However, under this new, mutually beneficial agreement, we look forward to working even more closely with them."
Sandie Dawe, CEO of VisitBritain, said: “We have ambitious targets to encourage record numbers of visits to Britain from long-haul, high-spending markets such as China and India – as do our colleagues at Tourism Ireland. This new partnership aims to capitalise on opportunities by aligning our work and marketing activities in these countries where appropriate.” In practical terms, new ways of working under the MoU will include:- Joint planning: annual planning meetings will be held among the VisitBritain and Tourism Ireland head offices and market-based teams, to align calendars and agree events and activity programmes for the following year.- Sharing of data: VisitBritain and Tourism Ireland will share all relevant market data and insights, to ensure full understanding of market opportunities and conditions. Options to share research projects, and therefore costs, will also be investigated.- Sales missions: Tourism Ireland and VisitBritain will share whole, or parts of, sales missions, where feasible. The organisations may also share common elements of other activities e.g. workshops, networking receptions and sales calls.- Shows and events: Where Tourism Ireland and VisitBritain participate in the same trade shows and events, consideration will be given to sharing stand space and other costs, where applicable.- Media: Tourism Ireland and VisitBritain will collaborate on joint press events, where appropriate, and offer joint familiarisation visits for relevant media, as opportunities arise.- Travel trade: Tourism Ireland and VisitBritain will also collaborate on joint familiarisation visits for relevant travel trade from long-haul markets, where appropriate and as opportunities arise. Image: Sandie Dawe, CEO of VisitBritain, and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.