Pictured: Peggy Freeman and Hillarie McGuinness, both Tourism Ireland; Amanda Horan, Fáilte Ireland; Ann Kilcoyne, Glasnevin Cemetery Museum; Dervla O’Neill, Epic Ireland; Alison Deegan, Manor House Hotels & Irish Country Hotels; Eóin McGrath, Culloden Estate & Spa; actor/presenter Colin Hamell; Jeremy Perrin, EI Travel Group; Brian Nevin, Shannon Heritage; Eimear Winters, Castle Leslie Estate; and Stephanie Hayes at the Global Travel Marketplace. Picture: Jay H. Guttveg – Creative Focus Inc.
Eight tourism companies from Ireland, including Shannon Heritage, travelled to Fort Lauderdale in Florida, to join Tourism Ireland at the fifth annual Global Travel Marketplace (GTM).
The busy, three-day event involves a programme of bespoke one-to-one appointments and networking sessions – providing a wonderful opportunity for the tourism enterprises from Ireland to meet, and do business with, top-producing travel advisors from North America, ensuring the island of Ireland is ‘top of mind’ for them when recommending destinations to their clients.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said: “Our presence at this year’s Global Travel Marketplace in Florida provides another excellent platform to spread the word about the many great things to see and do in Limerick, along the Wild Atlantic Way and elsewhere around the island of Ireland.
“In 2016, we welcomed a record 1.6 million North American visitors to the island of Ireland, worth over €1.3 billion to our economy. Tourism Ireland has prioritised North America for 2017, as a market which offers a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure. Our aim is to deliver a +6% increase in visitor numbers and a +9% increase in revenue from North America this year. A number of factors are working in our favour, including more airline seats than ever before, from 20 gateway cities across North America to the island of Ireland, with numerous new flights and expanded services in the pipeline for this year.”
There has been superb growth in North American visitor numbers so far again this year, with the most recent CSO figures for January to May 2017 showing growth of +23.6% – an extra 126,700 American and Canadian visitors compared with the same five-month period last year. Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of targeted promotional activity to keep the momentum going and build on that growth.
For more on the Global Travel Marketplace click here