Tourism Ireland's push for 2019 kicked off on November 5th, as more than 70 tourism businesses travelled to London to take part in World Travel Market (WTM).
Over the three days of WTM, the Irish delegation will engage in thousands of meetings with British and international tour operators, to negotiate and exchange contracts for 2019. Organisers estimate that £3.1bn (about €3.5bn) 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.
World Travel Market is the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar, with an estimated 50,000 travel professionals from 182 countries and regions around the world and over 3,000 international media in attendance.
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.”
Latest CSO figures indicate that 2019 will be another record year for Irish tourism, with more than 8.2m people arriving during the January to September period – an increase of 7%, or about 542,000 visitors, when compared to 2017.