Niall Gibbons and Vanessa Markey, both Tourism Ireland; John Horgan, Joanne Pollard and Brian Nevin, all Shannon Heritage; and Tourism Minister Patrick O’Donovan, at World Travel Market 2016 in London.
70 Irish tourism businesses are joining Tourism Ireland in London this week, for World Travel Market (WTM), the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar. WTM heralds the beginning of Ireland’s promotional drive overseas for the 2017 season.
Some of the businesses involved include the My Holiday Ireland (part of the Limerick Travel Group), Irish Tourism Ltd (based in Newcastle West) and Shannon Heritage Ltd.
Over the next three days, the Irish companies will engage in thousands of meetings with British and international tour operators, to negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2017. Organizers estimate that more than £2.5 billion’s (about €2.8 billion’s) worth of business was done at last year’s WTM.
Tourism Ireland aims to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the global media and travel professionals in attendance. The organization will highlight Ireland’s unique offerings for potential visitors around the world, including the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way.
Minister O’Donovan said: “World Travel Market provides an excellent platform for Tourism Ireland, and the participating tourism enterprises, to highlight Ireland’s world-class tourism experience to international tour operators. It is remarkable to see the level of business activity that is under way at the Tourism Ireland stand. It is often said that Ireland’s people are its greatest tourism asset and seeing the hard work that is being put in here by Tourism Ireland, and by the representatives of the participating businesses, I have to agree. While there are new challenges for Irish tourism as a consequence of Brexit, I am confident that the tourism industry can adapt quickly to enable continued growth from international markets.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The large representation of Irish tourism companies at World TravelMarket once again this year is extremely welcome. Since the UK referendum on Brexit, Tourism Ireland has been closely monitoring developments in the British outbound travel market. As our nearest neighbor and our largest market for overseas tourism, Britain will remain a priority for us. The depreciation of sterling against the euro since the referendum means that value for money will be a key message for us in Britain next year.
“Looking to 2017, it’s likely that Brexit will impact on consumer confidence, which in turn may have consequences for holiday travel demand – especially on travel from Britain. However, we will continue to work with our industry partners to highlight the ease of getting to the island of Ireland from Britain, with almost 240,000 seats by air and 45,000 car spaces on ferries every week, as well as the wide variety of things to see and do on holiday here. We are committed to making 2017 another strong year for Irish tourism.”
Now in its 37th year, World Travel Market is the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar, with more than 50,000 travel professionals from around the world and 3,000 international media in attendance.
Read more about the World Travel Market here.
Check out Tourism Ireland here.
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