Twenty-two leading UK inbound tour operators visited Mayo and the west of Ireland last week, as guests of Tourism Ireland. These tour operators are all based in Britain and are responsible for putting in place arrangements for visitors from long-haul markets. The aim of their five-day visit to Ireland last week was to help grow Mayo’s share of the huge, worldwide, tourism market – with a particular focus on increasing business from new and emerging markets, like India, China, and Russia.
They flew into Knock Airport at the weekend and visited the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar, Westport House, and enjoyed a cycle on the Greenway. They stayed in the Westport Coast Hotel.
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets, said: “The majority of our overseas visitors come from the core markets of Great Britain, North America and Mainland Europe, and while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by ‘new’ tourism markets, which we believe will play an increasing role in the future of the travel and tourism industry. It is therefore crucial that influential tour operators working in these markets get to experience Ireland, and the high standard of our tourism offering, at first-hand.”