Galway 2020 and Kylemore Abbey joined Tourism Ireland in London at this year’s World Travel Market, in what was a major tourism push for 2020.
Eighty Irish tourism businesses attended the market – the largest business-to-business event in the travel calendar.
Around 51,000 travel professionals from up to 180 countries and 3,000 international travel media were also at the event.
The 80-strong delegation represented Ireland’s largest ever presence at the event and they were accompanied by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin TD.
Recent research by Tourism Ireland confirms there is now more risk of consumers postponing holidays – due to the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit.
Because of this, World Travel Market was seen as more important than ever before for Tourism Ireland.
Tourism Ireland will launch its full marketing programme for 2020 to the wider Irish industry early in December.
In 2019, the organisation invested €45 million on promotions in Britain, North America, Mainland Europe and emerging tourism markets.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “World Travel Market has perhaps never been more important for us than it was this year.
“So, the record number of Irish tourism companies attending this year was extremely welcome – particularly given the uncertainty around Brexit and the hugely competitive marketplace in which we’re operating.
“As our nearest neighbour, Britain remains an extremely important market for Irish tourism. We know that it’s a market with a strong affinity with Ireland and that British visitors are more likely to visit Ireland all year round and to travel more widely around our regions, including border areas, more than other visitors.
“Our message – and that of the entire Irish tourism industry – is very simple.
“Whatever happens with Brexit, our welcome will continue to be as genuinely warm as ever; our people will continue to be funny and full of chat; and our landscapes will continue to take your breath away.
“Together with our industry, we will be marketing hard in Britain and across the world to deliver that message – from now right through 2020 – and to provide the reassurance that potential visitors and our travel trade partners overseas need to hear.”
The Irish tourism operators attending the three-day WTM will engage in thousands of meetings with British and international tour operators – to negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2020.
Organisers estimate that, in total, £3 billion’s (about €3.46 billion’s) worth of business was done at last year’s WTM