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Selling Ireland: Getting the agent perspective

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Selling Ireland

Following a week-long fam with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland that took place earlier this fall, travel agents contributed their top highlights and impressions of the Emerald Isle. Here are our favourites:

 

Luxury properties & must-do experiences

Debbie (on the right) enjoys a well earned malt wine break during a very scenic bike ride

Debbie (on the right) enjoys a well earned malt wine break during a very scenic bike ride

“I really enjoyed Mount Falcon Estate and thought it was a beautiful property, as well as the Lough Eske Castle. These will definitely be places that I will try and send clients to. I also highly recommend EPIC Ireland as a must do in Dublin. The Yeats Experience and the Cooking Class are also things I would recommend. I also thoroughly enjoyed our time in Galway and would recommend a walking/foodie tour in this city.  I will tell my client how deliciously the food offerings are in Ireland overall.”

— Debbie Poisson, The Travel Agent Next Door

Group accommodations

The agents enjoying the Gaelic Games Experience

The agents enjoying the Gaelic Games Experience

“As the GM for Goway Groups, I will be updating my team on the beautiful 18th- and 19th-century accommodation choices in manor houses and estates dotted across the two countries that are suitable for small groups, as well as all the unique group activities that we can include. Also notable are the Gaelic Games Experience and bike riding along the Wild Atlantic Way.”

— Barbara Norton, General Manager, Groups & Special Events, Goway Travel

Confidence

driving in Ireland

Some of the dramatic landscapes clients will see while driving in Ireland

“I’ve already got group space booked with CIE Tours for 2017 for a tour of Ireland and Scotland, but I’m for sure now more confident in promoting at least the Ireland portion. For individual bookings, I would sell it as either as an FIT or escorted tour, depending on the clients. I think a self-drive would be a great way to really experience Ireland. As for reasons to visit Ireland, I would say it’s safe, it’s clean, the food is fantastic, very authentic, lots of history, culture and music, and the people are so friendly.”

— Sylvia Isaac, Travel Advisor for Travel Professionals International

Irish culture

Robin hits the road

Robin hits the road

“I will certainly be selling my clients on the cultural Irish experience. Most clients want to do the ‘typical’ circle route of highlights in the south, but Ireland has so much more to offer. Castle stays and rural highlights offer up chances to experience the true Ireland by meeting its warm and welcoming people and enjoying its culinary indulgences.”

 — Robin Dunn, Group Travel Professional, Goliger’s Travel Plus – Cambridge

Something for everyone

Kathy and Stephanie enjoying a cuppa at Cupán Tae in Galway

Kathy and Stephanie enjoying a cuppa at Cupán Tae in Galway

“After experiencing this fam trip, I realized that there are so many ways to market Ireland to a number of clients. Whether you have history buffs, foodies, adventure travellers who want to hike/zip line/surf, multigenerational families, golf lovers, or spa lovers, Ireland is the perfect destination for all of these different types of travellers.”

— Gabby (Stephanie) Freitas, Travel Designer, Tully Luxury Travel

Helen learns the history of the famine from tour guide Tony (Heart of Burren Walks)

Helen learns the history of the famine from tour guide Tony (Heart of Burren Walks)

“Ireland has something for everyone, whether you are travelling independently or in a group.”

— Helen Lachapelle Senior Travel Agent Northstar Travel & Associates

Grab a car and drive

Patricia, Helen and Robin enjoy their Irish Coffee onboard the Corrib Princess

Patricia, Helen and Robin enjoy their Irish Coffee onboard the Corrib Princess

“I’ve been selling Ireland for years and mostly on FIT but some on organized tours. I don’t think I’ll change that up very much depending on the clients needs. If it were me, I’d grab a car and drive! I personally think that’s the way to go for a couple. For a small group, private tour for sure.”

— Patricia Spidle, CTC, Goliger’s Travel Plus

Less is more

“I think travelling through Ireland in a small group coach tour would be the best way to experience the country, allowing for the clients to enjoy areas not readily accessible to larger coach tours. Also, connecting cities such as Dublin, Galway and possibly Belfast by rail tours.”

— Diane Ascenzi, Vice President, CIT Tours

The Wild Atlantic Way

Elena enjoys the morning tea at Blessingbourne Country Estate

Elena enjoys the morning tea at Blessingbourne Country Estate

“The Wild Atlantic Way route. The combination of beautiful scenery, heart wrenching history and incredible hospitality will give travellers a real taste of Ireland.”

— Elena Prountzopoulos, Director, Tour Operations, Atourz

The laundry list

“It’s a six-hour flight from Toronto. Culture and history. Whisky, Guinness. No language barrier. Irish people are cheerful, smiling and always wanting to strike up a conversation. Small towns loaded with character. Incredible landscapes. Irish coffee. Farm-to-table dining, a culinary landscape boasting homegrown ingredients from the sea to the land. Magnificent range of accommodation, from luxurious five star castles to everything in between.”

— Bill Beckett, Team Leader, Vision Travel Solutions

Luxury F.I.T.

Speaking of luxury, agents got to stay at Lough Eske Castle

Speaking of luxury, agents got to stay at Lough Eske Castle

“What I think we will be selling to our clients would be a luxury experience in Ireland (mixture of 4- to 5-star hotels, castles, manor houses etc.), self-drive tours, Ireland by train, and for sure a culinary tour! Because we sell customized FITs we would, of course, tailor make a tour to the client’s wish list. But with our new knowledge of Ireland, we can better suggest sites and accommodations that will make their trip extra special.”

— April Tiffney, F.I.T. Department, Gateways International

No time to wait

Dorice tries not meet the same fate as Humpty Dumpty at Wesport House

Dorice tries not meet the same fate as Humpty Dumpty at Wesport House

“I am thinking of making a group this year instead of next year!”

— Dorice Tremblay, conseillère en voyages, Voyages Lorraine

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