Kilkenny used to showcase Ireland to US travel agents
By COLIN BARTLEY
KILKENNY is at the centre of a campaign trying to attract high-end American travellers to Ireland.
People from 11 of the US’s top travel agencies are visiting Kilkenny this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, to experience the most luxurious and best of Irish tourism.
They’re all members of Virtuoso, an international network of luxury travel agencies and they are visiting Ireland for the very first time.
The Irish tourism agencies hope to showcase the best of what Ireland and Kilkenny have to offer. One of the highlights of their action-packed trip was dinner and an overnight stay at Mount Juliet.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said: “We’re delighted these travel agents took time out of their busy schedules to come and experience our luxury tourism offering and see for themselves what Kilkenny and Ireland have to offer their clients.
“This is a first-time visit for all of the travel agents – so, our aim is that when they return home, they will really knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the destination, helping to secure a greater share of their business for Ireland.”
“Tourism Ireland has prioritised North America as a market which offers a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure. The most recent CSO figures, for January-August, indicate growth of 5% in arrivals from North America over the same eight-month period last year.
“Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of targeted promotional activity to continue to grow North American visitor numbers and, in particular, to encourage more holidaymakers to explore our regions and less-visited attractions, during the shoulder and off-season months.”