Castle Durrow ‘Goes Dutch’ at Workshop in Amsterdam

Twenty-one tourism organisations from around the island of Ireland –

Shelly Stokes, Castle Durrow (centre), with Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland; Ambassador Mary Whelan; Aad van Duivenbode, House of Ireland (tour operator); and Loes Hennephof, Aer Lingus, during Tourism Ireland’s recent “Ierland workshop” in Amsterdam.

including Shelly Stokes of Castle Durrow – travelled to Amsterdam
recently, to take part in the first ever “Ierland workshop”, organised by
Tourism Ireland to increase our share of the Dutch travel market in 2012
and beyond.

The Irish companies met and presented to 60 of the top Dutch tour
operators, MICE (meetings, incentive, conferences and events) planners,
online travel agents (OTAs) and leading travel media. The objective was to
remind these influential Dutch travel professionals about how easy it now
is to reach the island of Ireland from the Netherlands and to encourage
them to include Laois and Ireland in their future holiday programmes.

Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland in the Netherlands, said: “Last year
we welcomed about 140,000 Dutch visitors to the island of Ireland. This
type of workshop – where we talk directly to influential tour operators and
travel agents and tell them was makes the island of Ireland such a
fantastic destination – provides us with an excellent opportunity to grow
business further in 2012 and beyond. The trend we are seeing in the
Netherlands right now is that people are continuing to travel but are
taking shorter trips and staying closer to home. Tourism Ireland, together
with our industry partners, is working hard to highlight the
distinctiveness of a holiday in Ireland, the great value available and the
ease of getting there from the Netherlands. Our message for potential Dutch
holidaymakers is that there has never been a better time to visit the
island of Ireland.”

The Dutch market performed well for tourism to the island of Ireland in
2011, delivering about 140,000 visitors, an increase of +19% on 2010. The
average length of stay for Dutch holidaymakers is seven nights. Interest in
visiting Ireland is also high in the Netherlands and Dutch visitors tend to
come here more than once, with about 36% of Dutch people returning for a
second visit.

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