Tourism Ireland is looking for what can only be described as spectacular growth from Canada over the course of the next three years. In a presentation to its key travel trade partners (airlines, tour operators, travel agents and online travel agencies) in Toronto yesterday (Sept. 30), Tourism Ireland’s North American boss, Alison Metcalfe reported that the Emerald Isle had seen 13% growth out of Canada through to the end of August 2014 and in its new strategic plan was targeting 47% growth between 2014 and 2016.
Metcalfe certainly didn’t discount any of the challenges that would arise in achieving this kind of accelerated growth and told her audience that in order to achieve it, Tourism Ireland would need to deliver a focused, action-oriented plan. And that, Metcalfe said, is exactly what Tourism Ireland plans to do.
In fact, over the past few months, Tourism Ireland has being doing extensive research – including consulting with its travel trade partners — in order to put together just such a plan, releasing the details in a new report entitled “Canada: Land of Opportunity, A strategy for growth 2014-2016.
Tourism Ireland’s North American boss pointed out to her Toronto audience that Canada has been a strong market for Ireland, growing by 28% between 2010 and 2013.
Currently, Canada ranks as Ireland’s seventh most important market and Metcalfe said that she is convinced that Canada has the potential to become one of the destination’s fastest growing markets.
There’s no doubt that Ireland has a lot going for it out of Canada these days.
Topping the list is the significant increase in air service between the two countries which has accelerated the opportunity for Ireland to grow its traffic on a year round basis.
To take advantage of that additional lift, Tourism Ireland will be focusing its resources; presenting Ireland as a year-round destination; strengthening engagement with potential holidaymakers; collaborating more closely with key industry partners; and highlighting Northern Ireland.
In this respect, Metcalfe noted that in surveys that Tourism Ireland has done in the past, consumers consistently indicate that Ireland is on their wish list of destinations to visit.
As Metcalfe sees it, the goal is to get those consumers to take it off that wish list and go to Ireland now.
Seen in the photo, from l to r, are Tourism Ireland’s Alison Metcalfe and Helen Cole.
Stay tuned, there’ll be more on Tourism Ireland’s plan in an upcoming issue of Canadian Travel Press.