Twelve travel agents from six different markets – including China, India, Australia, New Zealand, the GCC and South Africa – have been visiting the island of Ireland, as guests of Tourism NI and Fáilte Ireland.
Their visit was part of Tourism Ireland’s Ireland Specialists online training programme – designed for travel agents and tour operators in Australia and developing tourism markets, to help them sell holidays to the island of Ireland.
The travel agents all study six different modules on the island of Ireland, completing each module with a quiz. Travel agents who got full marks for each module received a special, gold Ireland Specialists certificate – and the chance to travel to the island of Ireland.
Their itinerary, designed by Tourism NI and Fáilte Ireland, included Belfast, the Causeway Coastal Route and Londonderry. Then they had a chance to check out the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal and Sligo. They also took in Ireland’s Ancient East, with visits to Clonmacnoise and the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens. The travel agents also competed in challenges each day, culminating in a treasure hunt in Dublin on the final day, with the overall winner taking the title of 2016 Emerald Ireland Specialist.
Aisling McDermott, Tourism Ireland’s Asia, said: “As a reward for excelling in their Ireland Specialists training, we invited this group of travel agents to come and experience some of the many things to see and do on the island of Ireland. Familiarisation trips such as this are extremely important, as travel agents get to experience at first-hand our superb tourism offering.”