Updated: 09/11/17 : 05:14:25
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Sligo’s tourism drive for 2018 kicks off at world’s largest travel fair

Seventy (70) Irish tourism businesses – including Culture & Heritage Tours Ireland (based in Ballinode, Sligo) – are joining Tourism Ireland at World Travel Market (WTM) in London this week. WTM heralds the beginning of Ireland’s promotional drive overseas for the 2018 season.

Over the three days, the Irish companies will engage in thousands of meetings with British and international tour operators – to negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2018. Organisers estimate that almost £3 billion’s (about €3.4 billion’s) worth of business was done at last year’s WTM. Ireland’s strong presence at World Travel Market is particularly important this year, in the context of Brexit and its implications for Irish tourism, in 2018 and beyond.

With about 182 countries and regions all vying for business at WTM, Tourism Ireland aims to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the global media and travel professionals in attendance. Tourism Ireland – working in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and industry partners – will highlight Ireland’s unique offerings for potential visitors around the world, including the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The large representation of Irish tourism companies at World Travel Market once again this year is extremely welcome. Since the UK referendum on Brexit, Tourism Ireland has been closely monitoring developments in the British outbound travel market. As our nearest neighbour and our largest market for overseas tourism, Britain will remain a priority for us.

“In 2018, we will continue to work with our industry partners to highlight the ease of getting to the island of Ireland, with almost 227,000 seats by air and 44,000 car spaces on ferries from Britain every week, as well as the wide variety of things to see and do on holiday here. Competitiveness and the value for money message will remain important. We are committed to making 2018 another strong year for Irish tourism.”

World Travel Market is the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar, with about 51,500 travel professionals from 182 countries and regions around the world and over 3,000 international media in attendance.

Photo:: Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin; Albert Dawson, Culture & Heritage Tours Ireland; and Joan O’Shaughnessy, Chairman of Tourism Ireland, at World Travel Market in London.