Representatives of Cork’s tourism industry this week engaged in one-to-one meetings with over 60 of American and Canadian top tour operators in the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny. Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, hosted the meetings at the workshops which allowed the Cork operators to pitch directly to the cream of the North American travel industry.
The *“**Destination Ireland**”* event was organized by Fáilte Ireland in conjunction with their colleagues in Tourism Ireland and focused on the North America market – providing a platform for the Irish tourism trade members to pitch directly to the cream of the North American travel industry and explore serious business opportunities for the 2013 season.
Significantly, all visiting travel agents to these events were briefed on *The Gathering 2013 *and how they can work next year’s festivities into their itineraries. Fiona Buckley, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Operations for the South West said:
*“I am delighted to welcome these overseas travel operators to our shores at this crucial time when they are making their final decisions about what packages to offer their customers during 2013. I hope that our Cork tourism representatives here today will ‘Do Business’ and promote the South West where we have a fantastic produce to offer the North America market. If there was ever a year to visit Ireland, then next year – the year of The Gathering – will surely be that year. *
*“These overseas agents have the capacity to deliver significant amounts of visitors to Ireland and their presence here is a testimony to our enduring strong appeal as a destination and the variety and attractiveness of the Irish holiday. I sincerely hope that the pitches made by the Cork tourism representatives, and deals agreed at the workshop will be very much reflected in increased visitors and revenue throughout next year. *