The spirit of Ireland has visited hundreds of travel agents and tour operators throughout Australia and New Zealand, in the form of Tourism Ireland’s 2016 sales mission.
A delegation of 13 tourism companies from the island of Ireland took part in the targeted sales mission, aimed at growing tourism from markets in both countries.
The team arrived in Sydney last week. Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons reminded tourism leaders in Sydney that tourism was Ireland’s most important indigenous industry. Australia had delivered huge growth in recent years, with potential for major growth in the future.
Australians spend an average 13 nights in Ireland, 50% above the average for international tourists. They spend about AUD 1400 each, twice the average spend of other tourists.
Two important market segments are: Aussies aged 51 to 64, who want to expand horizons, explore landscapes, heritage and local culture; and, Aussies aged 20 to 35 years, looking for new, unique experienced and live action.
Gibbons spoke of Ireland’s bid to host the 2013 Rugby World Cup. It’s considered a very strong contender. Ireland even beat the All Blacks in Chicago recently!
Gibbons said Tourism Ireland expected RWC 2023 to generate 400,000 visitors.
Ireland’s Ambassador to Australia, Breandán Ó Caollaí, said one in three Australians had some connection to Ireland.
Tourism Ireland’s 2016 sales mission – including hoteliers, visitor attractions, activity providers and destination management companies – met and concluded deals with about 400 New Zealand and Australian tour operators and travel agents, in Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
Gibbons met representatives of Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Australia, Qantas, Flight Centre, The Travel Corporation, Emirates and Etihad Airways.
Workshops highlighted a number of themes, including the Wild Atlantic Way, Dublin, Belfast, the Causeway Coastal Route and Ireland’s Ancient East.
The Ancient East lets visitors experience 5000 years of European history in a compact area. They can get off the beaten track to see, hear, touch and feel the imprints of the millennia of settlers in this land from Stone Age art to monasteries, castles and fortresses.
In other news, Northern Ireland is celebrating its many links to the screening of Game of Thrones, and Lonely Planet has named Dublin one of the best cities in the world for travellers in 2016. The travel guide promotes Dublin as a city that “should be on every traveller’s must-see list”.
Twelve lighthouses in spectacular Irish coastal locations are offering a series of unprecedented holiday experiences around the island of Ireland. The Great Lighthouses of Ireland initiative has brought together a dozen of the island’s best maritime heritage sites, offering a range of accommodation, visitor centres and guided tours.
Tourism Ireland’s 2016 sales mission lines up at Sydney Harbour, with a few Irish beverages in the foreground
Teeling Distillery Dublin is now open, the first new distillery in the city in 125 years, with the capacity to produce over 500,000 litres of whiskey annually. The visitor centre is the only fully operational and working distillery open to visitors in Dublin and is expected to become one of Dublin’s top tourist attractions.
Tourism Ireland Sales Mission – Irish Industry participants
(Descriptions supplied by Tourism Ireland.)
Belmond Grand Hibernian
The first luxury rail experience of its kind in Ireland, Belmond Grand Hibernian traverses the sprawling countryside, dramatic coasts and fascinating cities that define this captivating land. The magnificent yet intimate Belmond Grand Hibernian is the seventh train to join the Belmond family, evoking the golden age of travel in the style of its legendary sisters, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and Belmond Royal Scotsman. A journey aboard Belmond Grand Hibernian will take 40 guests in lavishly furnished, private en-suite cabins to remote areas and exclusive attractions. Guests can explore ancient castles, spot rare wildlife, sample famous whiskies and visit vibrant cities, or relax in the observation car – perfect for enjoying the craic. Step aboard to enter a whole new of world indulgence; contemporary carriages inspired by Dublin’s classic architecture, fine cuisine enriched by local delicacies enjoyed in two restaurant cars and a break-taking, ever-changing backdrop of Ireland’s celebrated landscapes discovered from the Observation Car.
CIE Tours International
CIE Tours International sets the standard for escorted touring holidays of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. This renowned operator delivers unsurpassed experiences and value for both shared-group and independent touring programs. Guests are never charged for special features considered optional extras with other tour companies – there is no constant pressure to buy. Excursions include world-leading attractions, special walking tours, fantastic tastings, dining and entertainments. Guests simply relax while they are immersed into Irish social life, Irish culture and history while wrapped in the changing hues and shades of rich green landscapes and remote Atlantic seascapes. Only CIE Tours offers so many itinerary choices and departure dates. Available through all credible wholesalers in Australia with an Australia-based sales support number at 1800 502 911.
This Historic 16th century castle was once the home of the O’ Brien clan: direct descendants of Ireland High King Brian Boru. The castle is one of Europe’s leading 5 star resorts located in one of Ireland’s most scenic areas, just 8 miles from Shannon International Airport and a 2 hour drive from Dublin. The hotel is a 10 minute drive to the quaint towns of Ennis & Bunratty. We have 98 bedrooms including 14 suites. On the 450 acre estate activities include a championship golf course, a golf academy, horse -back riding, falconry, clay pigeon shooting, and archery.
The health and beauty spa has six treatment rooms, relaxation room, hydro therapy pool, pedicure, manicure and hair styling. The leisure center has a fully equipped gymnasium, 17M swimming pool, and Jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room.
Eirebus DMC is your destination management partner in Ireland. We have been in business for 45 years, giving us a wealth of experience, and we have long standing relationships with some of Ireland’s most exclusive venues and key suppliers. Not only that, but we boast our own fleet of 50 luxury touring coaches, deluxe mini coaches and executive cars via our sister company, Eirebus, so you benefit from the transport services of Dublin’s largest coach operator. We offer a range of bespoke programmes, including (but not limited to) conference & incentive, leisure, golf and sports tours and alumni & academic programmes. We work closely with our clients to tailor each programme to meet individual requirements and our team of professional, multilingual staff will leave no stone unturned when planning your itinerary. Eirebus DMC is a member of Dublin Convention Bureau (DCB), Coach Tourism and Transport Council (CTTC) and Irish Tour Operators Association (ITOA).
EPIC Ireland – Dublin
Come and discover the Irish at EPIC Ireland, Dublin’s newest visitor experience and museum. EPIC Ireland tells the story of Ireland and its people history of emigration. This fully interactive and immersive exhibition bring to life the journeys and tales of some of the millions of Irish people that left this island’s shores, and how they went on to influence the world. EPIC Ireland is situated in the beautifully restored vaults of The chq Building in Dublin’s Docklands. The tour is self-guided, and we have a team of professional and friendly staff on hand to assist you in any way. Open daily from 10AM and last entry is 5PM. EPIC Ireland also houses a bespoke gift store and genealogical centre operated by the Irish Family History Centre. The chq Building also hosts a range of great café’s, restaurants, shops and facilities.
The chq Building, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1.
Extreme Event Ireland Ltd was set up in 2006 to provide rich vacation experiences of Ireland for inquisitive travellers who want to see Ireland in a different way. All our tours are delivered by the best guides in the business on a fleet of luxury coaches from 4 to 64 seats. The success and exceptional growth of our company can be credited to our relentless focus on customer care and service. We have been awarded the ‘Certificate of Excellence’ for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 for our outstanding customer reviews. Our customer reviews on Trip Advisor are currently 95% rated Excellent or Very Good. We are the Irish Representatives for the GPN “Global Passenger Network”
We operate all our tours with a “Leave no trace” policy Irish day Tours is Ireland’s only recognised European Service Excellence Awarded Tour company, EFQM We are a DMC providing a farm to fork approach so we can look after everything from the time your group arrives off the plane until they depart again.
The Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of Ireland’s leading visitor attractions, is located along the dramatic Causeway Coastal Route which connects to the Wild Atlantic Way. The 40,000 basalt stone columns of the spectacular Causeway landscape, left by volcanic eruptions over 60 million years ago, are steeped in mystery and legends of giants. The award winning Visitor Centre provides a warm welcome, orientation and interpretation which unlocks the mystery of the landscape. Visitors can explore way-marked trails and enjoy stunning cliff and coastal scenery accompanied by an innovative audio-guide or join a personalised guided tour. Fast Track Admission for groups. Café. Gift Shop. The 3 * Causeway Hotel, adjacent to the Visitor Centre, offers fine dining and 28 comfortable ensuite rooms enjoying unique location and amazing views.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, a short distance further along the Causeway Coastal Route, is an exhilarating experience offering unrivalled cliff and coastal scenery and fantastic bird watching. Guided tours available. Tea Room. Gift Shop. The National Trust, one of Europe’s leading conservation charities, is responsible for looking after many of Northern Ireland’s historic sites, landscapes and natural tourist attractions – for ever, for everyone.
The Griffin Group
The Griffin Group is one of Ireland’s leading Hotel Groups. The Griffin Group is an Irish owned and a long established Family business. It is home of the world renowned 5H Monart Destination Spa, Enniscorthy, Wexford, the 4H Ferrycarrig Hotel in Wexford and the 4H Hotel Kilkenny in the heart
of the ever vibrant Medieval City, Kilkenny. At the Griffin Group we pride ourselves on our staff and the service standards we together as a team provide. Enjoy a world class spa break, a family getaway, a couples retreat or a great option for business meetings or conferences; this is what we provide through three unique properties.
Irish National Stud & Gardens
The Irish National Stud belongs to the people of Ireland but prides itself on being enjoyed and appreciated by visitors from all parts of the globe. Nowhere better symbolises all that is great about County Kildare, the beating heart of Ireland’s thoroughbred industry, than the stud, a unique attraction of outstanding natural beauty that is home to some of the most magnificent horses and sumptuous gardens to be found anywhere in the world. For well over 100 years, the pride of Tully has been a working stud farm, its central objective being to produce for Ireland thoroughbreds capable of being crowned champions at home and abroad. The stud farm is also home to the Japanese Gardens, which represent a glorious union of Eastern and Western cultures. St. Fiachra’s Garden is a beautiful monastic garden spread over 4 acres, which seeks to represent Ireland at its most raw and rugged. The attraction is open 7 days a week from 9am to 6pm (early February to mid-November).
Manor House Hotels & Irish Country Hotels
Ireland’s Premier Group of Independent Hotels comprising 3 and 4 star hotels. Central Reservations Office, contracting and accounts for FIT & Groups for 54 properties. Manor House Hotels- An exclusive collection of castles, country houses, Georgian Townhouses and charming luxury hotels, set in the most picturesque countryside and smart city and town locations. Each Manor House, with its own special charm and character, prides itself on being a unique experience for visitors.
Manor House Hotels – Distinctively Different
Irish Country Hotels – A collection of 26 traditional family owned and run hotels located throughout the country. Our genuinely warm welcome, natural ease and our friendly and informal style of service is second to none “Irish Country Hotels Make Yourself at Home’’.
Sheenco Travel is a luxury travel company specialising in customised travel to Ireland and the UK with a special focus on castles. A relatively new company formed in 2012, Sheenco has built up a solid customer base in the US and Canada and are excited to be expanding into Australia and New Zealand. Our most popular product is our fully customised chauffeur driven tours which we offer to solo travellers and couples as well as larger groups of all sizes. Other products include self-drive tours, golfing holidays and special interest tours and we also operate our own scheduled castle tours where you spend every night in an authentic Irish castle. At Sheenco Travel we differentiate ourselves with the high standards we insist on from our suppliers along with exemplary customer service. With a concierge department on hand to cater to our guests every whim, and 24 hour on tour support; we are literally the guardian angels of your clients’ holiday.
Titanic Belfast, named as Europe’s Leading Visitor Attraction 2016 at the prestigious World Travel Awards, is an unmissable experience. Located in the heart of Belfast, right beside the historic site of this world-famous ship’s construction, Titanic Belfast is the world’s largest Titanic Visitor Experience. This state-of-the-art visitor experience tells the story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her famous maiden voyage and subsequent
place in history. Titanic Belfast features nine interpretive and interactive galleries that explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic, as well as the City and people which made her. It is located beside the Titanic Slipways, the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and Hamilton Graving Dock – the very place where Titanic was designed, built and launched in 1912.
At Wilderness Ireland we specialise in offering a range of adventure holidays, tours and incredible wilderness experiences. We take our clients to the most remote and beautiful regions of Ireland, all while staying at the most welcoming accommodations and delivering outstanding customer service. Our personalised, professional and innovative approach ensures you will experience a blend of the most stunning locations, authentic local experiences, beautiful accommodations and Ireland’s growing reputation for creative cuisine. Add all this to our team of knowledgeable and standout wilderness guides who know Ireland inside and out, and we are confident that your clients will have an amazing and memorable experience when they travel with us. Our team is passionate about Ireland and we are committed to providing our clients with excellent customer service and the best possible adventure experience of Ireland. As Ireland’s leading 5-star, adventure travel company, developing meaningful long term relationships with like-minded individuals and organisations is a cornerstone of who we are today. We welcome the opportunity to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with agents and operators that share a passion for adventure and the great outdoors.
Edited by Peter Needham