Tourism operators focus on U.S.

Having enjoyed a successful season tourism operators in Donegal are not resting on their laurels but already focusing on the 2014/5 seasons.

Having enjoyed a successful season tourism operators in Donegal are not resting on their laurels but already focusing on the 2014/5 seasons.

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 in Kildare this week at the North American Expo.

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.

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.”

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.

Deidre McGlone of Harvey’s Point Hotel outside Donegal Town attended the workshop as well as making several sales trips to the US.

She said, “Year on year we are recording a considerable increase in visitors from the US and we are finding that the satisfaction level with our product in Donegal has greatly increased.

“We have already had quite a few of the operators up here this week who been “Blown away” with both the hospitality and the great locations such as Slieve League”