Irish Tourism Businesses Target Canadian Market worth €206 Million

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Canadian Hurling Lesson: Lidwina Kwan, of the Toronto Travel Agent Next Door, picks up a few tips on our national game from Cormac O Donnchu, of Experience Gaelic Games, Dublin, at today’s (Thursday 3) Failte Ireland workshop attended by representatives of 55 Irish tourism businesses and 18 Canadian tour operators at Johnstown Estate, County Meath. The Canadian tourist market is worth an annual 206 million euro to the Irish economy. Photo: Willie Dillon, for Failte Ireland. Tel 087 9883004

As part of a targeted 2020 sales drive, Fáilte Ireland this week (Thursday 3rd Oct) hosted a custom-made workshop providing Irish tourism businesses with an opportunity to pitch directly to a group of Canadian tour operators.

The workshop, which was hosted by Fáilte Ireland, as the National Tourism Development Authority in conjunction with Tourism Ireland – Ireland’s overseas marketing body, took place today at The Johnstown Estate, Enfield, Co. Meath.

With just 27 days remaining before the Brexit deadline of 31st October, tourism businesses are ramping up their preparations by attending Fáilte Ireland tailored workshop targeting the Canadian market.

Up to 810 one-to-one meetings between 55 Irish trade and 18 Canadian tour operators will take place over the course of the day with the goal of securing business for 2020 and beyond.
The workshop was designed to help tourism businesses improve performance in the face of increasing uncertainty and the potential impact of Britain’s proposed withdrawal from the EU by diversifying to other markets such as Canada.

Paul Mockler, Head of Commercial Development with Fáilte Ireland stressed the benefits for the Irish tourism industry:

“This sales drive seeks to capitalise on increased air access into Ireland from Canada and to develop opportunities for long haul destinations to include Ireland as a holiday experience. In 2018, over 220,000 Canadian tourists visited Ireland spending an estimated €206m so the Canadian market is important for Ireland. We are also focussing on using Canadian’s tendency to travel south between December to March on account of their harsh winters to extend Ireland’s traditional tourism season by showcasing the breadth of experiences available in Ireland outside of the summer months.”

To further showcase what Ireland can truly offer, Fáilte Ireland has put together bespoke tours for the Canadian travel agents in Dublin, Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon and Meath, so they can get an authentic taste of what an Irish holiday can offer. These trips provide a great opportunity for overseas operators to experience first-hand the full-on experience what Ireland offers as a destination and plays a key role in closing the deal and persuading these agents to promote Ireland as a destination to their customers.

Mr Mockler continued:

Contacts and contracts made at these workshops will assist ongoing growth in Irish tourism in 2020.  The Canadian buyers have the capacity to deliver significant amounts of visitors to Ireland throughout the year as Ireland continues to have very strong appeal as a destination.”