Targeting Middle Eastern Tourists for Ballyfin and Co Laois

A delegation led by Tourism Ireland took part in a travel trade mission to the Middle East last week. Fifteen tourism organisations – including Ballyfin Demesne – took part in the three-day mission, visiting Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Kuwait, where they met with key tour operators and travel agents in the region. This was the largest-ever tourism mission to the Middle East with Tourism Ireland.


PIC SHOWS: Theresa Feeney, Ballyfin Demesne (front row, second from left) in Dubai with the other Irish tourism organisations who took part in Tourism Ireland’s travel trade mission to the Middle East.


The mission, organised in association with VisitBritain and VisitScotland, involved workshops with influential travel agents and tour operators, encouraging them to include Co Laois and Ireland in future holiday programmes. Although use of the internet for the planning and booking of holidays is on the increase, travel agents remain extremely important in the Middle East region.


Commenting on the business potential of this tourism mission to the Middle East, Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s Manager in Asia, said: “Tourism missions such as this provide a valuable platform for us and our Irish partners to showcase Ireland as a fantastic holiday destination and are extremely important in helping us to compete effectively for the growing number of affluent travellers in this market. Ireland is an emerging destination for Middle Eastern travellers and Tourism Ireland has a busy promotional programme in place to grow tourism from the Middle East in 2012. The recent launch of daily flights from Dubai to Dublin with Emirates, coupled with the existing ten flights per week from Abu Dhabi to Dublin with Etihad Airways, and the visa waiver scheme – which makes it easier than ever before for visitors from the Middle East, and other emerging tourism markets, to visit Ireland – has really helped to enhance Ireland’s popularity as a holiday destination for Middle Eastern travellers. Our message is that there has never been a better time to visit.”

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