DER Touristik, a major German tour operator and the largest tour operator from Mainland Europe to the island of Ireland, has announced it will host its annual travel academy in Killarney in October 2020.

The event is always held in leading travel destinations and in 2019 took part in Cuba having been in Finland in 2018. Killarney beat off challenges from a number of other international destinations to host the 2020 event.

The congress is DER Touristik’s annual event and will take place over three nights. Around 300 German travel agents, as well as travel journalists and senior managers from DER Touristik, are expected to travel to Ireland to take part.

In addition to attending the travel academy, delegates will have the opportunity to participate in specially designed pre-conference tours across the island of Ireland.

As well as generating off-season business, the annual travel academy helps boost German visitor numbers to the host destination in subsequent years.

Minister for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D., said: “The decision by Der Touristik to hold its 2020 travel academy in Killarney is a real vote of confidence in Killarney and Ireland and is testament to the strong appeal of Kerry and the island of Ireland as a ‘must see’ destination for German holidaymakers.”

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This travel academy presents an opportunity to show the travel agents what’s on offer here and will help increase the number of German holidaymakers to Ireland in 2021 and beyond.”

Paul Kelly, Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland, commented: “Securing international distribution for Irish tourism products is critical to driving greater regional and seasonal dispersal of business. Der Touristik is a key and valued partner to Irish tourism and we would like to congratulate Killarney and Tourism Ireland on winning this congress for Ireland in 2020.”

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