Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin T.D. joined Tourism Ireland and around 70 tourism businesses from across the island of Ireland at World Travel Market (WTM) in London on November 7th.
WTM is the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar, with around 50,000 travel professionals from 182 countries and regions around the world and over 3,000 international media in attendance. WTM heralds the beginning of Ireland’s international promotional drive for the 2019 season.
During the three day travel fair, the Irish companies engaged in thousands of meetings with British and international tour operators, to negotiate and exchange contracts for 2019. Organisers estimate that £3.1bn worth of business was done at last year’s WTM. Ireland’s presence at World Travel Market is particularly important this year, in the context of Brexit and its implications for Irish tourism.
Tourism Ireland – working in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and industry partners – highlighted Ireland’s unique offerings for potential visitors around the world, including regional experiences, Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, as well as Dublin – Surprising by nature.
Minister Griffin said: “It’s great to see so many tourism enterprises from all parts of Ireland conducting hundreds of business meetings and doing a great job of selling tourism to the global travel trade. While there are challenges for Irish tourism as a consequence of Brexit, I am confident that the tourism industry can adapt quickly to enable continued growth from international markets.”
Latest CSO figures indicate that this 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 extra overseas visitors, when compared to 2017. Growth has come from all main market areas.