Tourism Ireland Targets Group Business


In this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier, executive editor, Bob Mowat reports that Tourism Ireland has no time to rest on its laurels these days. With the introduction of year-round air service in 2014, plus a host of seasonal flights available, officials continue to spread the word that any time is a good time to visit the Emerald Isle.

In Toronto recently on a tour that would also stop in Ottawa, Vancouver and Victoria, the tourist board, along with 10 of its industry partners, hosted 70 agents specializing in group travel to talk to them about the business opportunities the destination offers with specific reference to Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, its culture and heritage and its music and food.

Tourism Ireland’s Alison Metcalfe, executive VP for US and Canada, and Dana Welch, marketing manger Canada hosted the half-day event, with Metcalfe telling Travel Courier that the combination of year-round air access and an ongoing, and definitely robust, marketing effort had seen Ireland post record numbers in 2014, including a 30% increase out of Canada.

“Canadians have realized that Ireland is open year-round,” Metcalfe said, clearly pleased to point out that Ireland has seen solid increases in its Canadian business during the 2014 fall quarter and that those gains are continuing into 2015.

In the past, she explained, the “biggest challenge in Canada was the lack of direct air access outside the summer season” which “made it difficult to compete.”

However, the arrival of year-round service by both Air Canada and Aer Lingus, coupled with seasonal operations by Air Transat, WestJet and – beginning in the summer of 2015 – Europe Airpost has provided Tourism Ireland the access that it has long wanted.

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier by clicking here.