A new agreement between the Irish tourist board, Tourism Ireland, and their British counterparts, VisitBritain, was announced as part of President Higgins’ State Visit to the UK. The agreement will seek to boost the numbers of tourists planning a vacation in Ireland and Britain who are visiting from long-haul markets such as India, China and south east Asia.
The respective CEO’s of Tourism Ireland and VisitBritain, Niall Gibbons and Sandie Dawe, respectively, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) marking the agreement between the two nations.
The British Irish Chamber of Commerce was the venue for the historic announcement which it is hoped will increases the numbers of visitors planning trips to Ireland and Britain over the coming years.
Both Tourism Ireland and VisitBritain will form a close working partnership as part of the agreement focusing, in particular, on the long-haul markets outside of traditional European and North American catchments. The new agreement will aim to showcase vacation packages Ireland and Britain as destinations of choice to be visited as part of a single holiday.
In doing so, the MoU aims to increase both visitor numbers and revenue to Ireland and Britain from long-haul markets. The CEO of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, went on to describe the significance of the agreement:
“For Ireland, the majority of our overseas visitors come from Great Britain, North America and Mainland Europe, and while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by new tourism markets, including the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), which we believe will play an increasingly important role for travel and tourism,”
“Given that visitors from these markets are travelling considerable distances, and often want to include more than one destination on their itinerary, it makes sense for Tourism Ireland to co-operate with VisitBritain, to target people travelling to Britain and encourage them to visit the island of Ireland as part of their trip, and vice versa,” Mr Gibbons concluded.