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Focus on North America as Donegal Tourism Industry prepares for 2014

Deirdre McGlone, Harvey's Point Country Hotel, Lough Eske, is pictured at the recent Fáilte Ireland North American Expo workshop which was held at Carton House Hotel, Co Kildare.  Photo: Derek Cullen, Fáilte Ireland

Deirdre McGlone, Harvey’s Point Country Hotel, Lough Eske, is pictured at the recent Fáilte Ireland North American Expo workshop which was held at Carton House Hotel, Co Kildare. Photo: Derek Cullen, Fáilte Ireland

KEY members of Donegal’s tourism industry including B&B Ireland; Harvey’s Point Country Hotel; Inishowen Tourism and the Slieve league Cultural Centre continued their Autumn sales drive as they gathered in Carton House this week at the North American Expo. The event, organised by Fáilte Ireland in conjunction with Tourism Ireland in the US, welcomed over 40 North American tour operators who met with over 80 members of the Irish tourism trade.

The North American operators were in Ireland to explore business opportunities for the 2014 season ahead and beyond. It is hoped the presence of these top travel agents, who represent high end travel groups from seventeen states across the USA, will deliver significant amounts of additional business to Ireland over the coming years.

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Encouragingly the North American market recorded impressive growth from June to August up nearly 20% on the same period in 2012 and an overall increase of almost 17% for the year so far.

Martina Bromley, Head of Operations with Fáilte Ireland, said: “This event provides the Donegal businesses attending with an opportunity to win a bigger slice of this key international market. The North American travel agents have the capacity to deliver significant amounts of business to Ireland and their presence here is testament to the enduring strong appeal of Ireland and the variety and attractiveness of the holiday experience we can offer.”

Over the last month Irish tourism businesses have engaged in over 7,600 one-to-one meetings with approximately 120 of the world’s top tour operators. The five “Destination Ireland” events have covered key markets including the US and Great Britain as well as new and emerging destinations such as India, China, South Africa and the Middle East.

To further showcase what Ireland can truly offer, Fáilte Ireland co-ordinated tailor-made tours for the overseas travel agents to get out and about and see first-hand what an Irish holiday can offer. These trips provide a great opportunity for overseas operators to experience first-hand the full-on Ireland experience and can play a key role in closing the deal and persuading them to choose Ireland as a holiday destination for their customers.

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