Ireland on sale now with Collette’s limited-time offer

Canadian travel to Ireland up 56%, Trafalgar celebrates St. Paddy’s

TORONTO —Ireland has reported outstanding growth figures for Canadian arrivals, up 56% over the past three years due to the combination of more airlift and strong marketing campaigns by Tourism Ireland.

To accommodate the growing number of visitors, Canadian tour operators have made a big push in the Emerald Isle, especially at this time of year with upcoming St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Trafalgar, for example, says that Ireland is its second most travelled to destination behind Italy, and has plans to “ride the luck of the Irish” into the 2016 booking season.

“We have such a great partnership with Ireland, which is an extremely popular destination for us. We have 14 itineraries that centre around Ireland – Canadians love Ireland!” says Anita Emilio, Vice President of Sales, Trafalgar. “Ireland continues to sell very well, even with the weak loonie, because travellers are paying for most expenses upfront with a tour, so they have less stress about the exchange rate while on holiday.”

Figures from Tourism Ireland indeed show that the destination is a hit among Canadians – figures are up 56% over the past three years to more than 190,000 Canadian arrivals per year. This is attributed to increased airlift by Canadian and European carriers, promotion as a year round destination and the strong marketing efforts by Tourism Ireland in Canada. The tourist board is now setting their sights on achieving over 200,000 visitors in 2016.

Canadian lift includes: Air Canada rouge; Aer Lingus (year round service); WestJet; Air Transat; and ASL airlines (seasonal). Brand new for 2016 is an Air Canada rouge direct flight from Vancouver to Dublin, starting in June.

Ireland will boast a number of new offerings this year, including a new tour route called ‘Ireland’s Ancient East.’ While on this route, travellers will experience 5,000 years of European history in an area known for welcoming millennia of settlers. Visitors can explore tombs older than the Pyramids, viking settlements and castles and fortresses.

Also new on the Causeway Coastal route is ‘The Gobbins’, a spectacular adventure that includes a cliff path walk along the very edge of the Irish Sea, located about 30 km’s north of Belfast. Walking the cliff paths will be an exhilarating adventure on the re-awakened coastal experience, which was first enjoyed in 1902 by the Edwardians.

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‘The Gobbins’ a spectacular adventure that includes a cliff path walk along the very edge of the Irish Sea, located about 30 km’s north of Belfast.

Trafalgar is offering plenty of ways to visit Ireland this year, with promotions to encourage early bookings. Ireland trips booked over St. Patty’s Day between March 1-30 can save an additional $75 per person off trips nine days or longer. Trafalgar is also offering savings of up to $915 per couple on Europe and Britain trips with a 5% Early Payment Discount when booked and paid in full by April 28.

Trafalgar tours to Ireland include:

  • Treasures of Ireland:
The Blarney Stone, Irish coffee and Waterford Crystal come together on this seven-day trip around the south’s biggest cities – Dublin, Cork, Killarney and Limerick.
  • Enchanting Emerald Isle:
On this nine-day trip, Old World Ireland comes to life as clients travel around the country. Highlights include hearing the ‘upstairs, downstairs,’ story of Strokestown Park and tasting freshly baked scones at a traditional Irish Farm.
  • Secrets of Ireland:
This nine-day complete circle of Ireland includes fairytale castle stays, a visit to Dublin and the wild Cliffs of Moher. Guests will also spend time in Ireland’s famous countryside.
  • Iconic Ireland & Ashford Castle:
This 11-day leisure trip gives travellers time to enjoy stunning spots like Powercourt Gardens, the fishing port of Kinsale and Killarney National Park. It also includes a night at the magnificent Ashford Castle.
  • Amazing Ireland:
One of Trafalgar’s longest and most leisurely Irish trips, the north and south come together over the course of 15 days. The tour includes all the famous cities and sights, as well as exclusive experiences like a private reception at Christ Church Cathedral.