Tourism Ireland, CEO, Niall Gibbons made a special visit to Dubai yesterday to open the Emirates Airline and Tourism Ireland Sales Mission at Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Dubai. The Sales Missionis part of Tourism Ireland’s continued efforts to drive tourism from the UAE to the island of Ireland and provides a unique networking opportunity for Irish suppliers and the UAE travel trade community.
With six speakers, five presentations and a networking session followed by a series of one to one sessions with Irish suppliers, the mission was attended by 90 tour operators and included a key note speech from Gerald Lawless, Head of Tourism and Hospitality at Dubai Holding.Nine Irish suppliers attended the mission, including DMC’s, hotels, retail outlets and attractions. The Sales Mission showcased the island of Ireland’s filming locations of hit TV series Game of Thrones and blockbuster movie, Star Wars.
Speaking at the event, Niall Gibbons said, “The Sales Missioncomes at a time when visitornumbers to the island of Ireland from the UAE are increasingsignificantly. Tourism Ireland estimatesthat 65,000 visitors travelled to the island of Ireland in 2015, representing an 18 per centgrowth in visitor numbers from the previous year. We have every indication that we will continue this success in 2016.”
He added, “We have seen an increase in demand from Irish companies to visit the UAE as they continue to focus on developing their offering for this region.The Sales Mission offers a unique opportunity for local travel representatives to learn about specific Ireland products and attractions, and to learn how to promote the destination. For the Irish companies, it offers a chance to learn more about the UAE market and how they can adapt and develop their products for the local traveller.A hugely important factor in growing tourism to Ireland from the UAE has been the availability of direct, convenient and competitive air service to Dublin with Emirates Airline. Emirates has been a great support to us and we look forward to continued cooperation and growth in the coming years”.
During his visitto the UAE, Niall Gibbons also met with Mohammed Al Rais, CEO of Al Rais Travels. Tourism Ireland and Al Rais Travel have recently joined together to bring one of the region’s top bloggers, Taim Al Falasi, to tour the island of Ireland. During the Sales Mission, Al Rais Travel launched a new seven day itinerary ‘Taim’s Ireland Experience’, allowing fans of the blogger to follow in her footsteps and experience the island of Ireland. As part of the destination’s focus on innovation to attract new audiences, Tourism Ireland also invited agents and partners to view a series of Virtual Reality Films during the roadshow which brought stunning itineraries to life including The Wild Atlantic Way and Belfast City through personal VR viewers made available to attendees.