Alison Metcalfe, Tanya Warren &
Dana Welch Tourism Ireland
Suzanne Meade, Edward Hotels
Mary Hartnett, Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa
talking with agents
sun is shining, the sky is crystal clear and the temperature outside is, well,
cold. That's the kind of Spring it's been here in Toronto, which is disappointing for many, but for agents busy organizing itineraries for clients
seeking some relief, it serves as a benefit. So where in the world does one go
this time of year, or any time of year, where the temperature is milder and the
land more lush? Ireland or course!
the brisk air one morning earlier this week were some 50 agents who gathered at
The Cathedral Centre in downtown Toronto to participate in a Group Travel
Workshop hosted by Tourism Ireland. Agents had an opportunity to meet with
Irish Industry partners to learn about opportunities for building their group
offers a very good fit particularly as it relates to cultural tours, houses
& gardens tours, choral performing groups as well as faith based tourism",
said Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland's Executive V.P., United States &
Canada. “That's some of the themes we're focusing on today together with food
and culinary tours as well."
questioned about the Canadian interest in Ireland the response was positive.
“There's lots of great connections from a heritage standpoint between Canadians
and Ireland as well as being such a wonderful destination," said Dana Welch,
Tourism Ireland's Marketing Manager, Canada. “And now that there's year round
access it's a great time to visit."
proof of Canadian presence is in the numbers. Suzanne
Meade, Business Development Manager for Edward Hotels (a parent company for 3
separate hotels) reported that 2015 is already showing a 10% increase over
2014. “The kinds of groups that we're seeing include multigenerational and
corporate. Young travelers love The g Hotel which is very modern, and older
travelers love the Hotel Meyrick which is more traditional."
partner that mentioned multigenerational groups was Jim Deegan of
Railtours Ireland. “There can be as many as 25 people in a family." This rail
touring operator offers first class tours with itineraries ranging from 1 to 9
days including overnights in historic hotels and castles.
to Metcalfe, Canadians are travelling more and more in the shoulder months and
they're realizing the value. It's easy to get to, it's less crowded, everything
And lets not forget the climate advantage. “Standing here in Toronto,
it's Spring and -10. In Ireland it's +10, the grass is greener and the Daffodils
are out so it's a good time to go.