30 September 2023
By Mary Bermingham
Representatives of six Belgian and Dutch tour operators have been exploring Cork city and county this week – as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland.
The aim of the visit is to familiarise the travel professionals with Cork and our superb tourism offering, so that when they return home, they will be better informed and more enthusiastic than ever about Cork and Ireland, when advising their clients about planning and booking their holidays here.
Tourism Ireland is continuing its ‘twinning’ initiative this year, which involves each overseas market ‘twinning’ with a specific region or area on the island of Ireland – placing a special focus on the area. The Netherlands is twinned with Cork.
The group’s action-packed itinerary includes places like Goat’s Path Pod Farm & Pod Park, Bantry House and Garden, Goleen Harbour, Barley Cove, Mizen Head Visitor Centre kayaking on Lough Hyne, and an Irish farm experience with West Cork Farm Tours in Rosscarbery. The group is also visiting Cobh Heritage Centre, Spike Island, Cork City Gaol, Nano Nagle Place and Rebel City Distillery. During their time here, they been eating at Mizen Café, The Church Restaurant in Skibbereen, Cornstore and the Good Day Deli. They’re staying at The Maritime Hotel in Bantry, West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen and the Imperial Hotel in Cork city.
Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Northern Europe, said:
“We were delighted to invite this group of Belgian and Dutch tour operators to explore Cork city and country. There really is no substitute for being able to come here and experience what Ireland has to offer at first-hand. Our aim is that when they return home, they will be even more enthusiastic about the destination, helping to secure a greater share of their business for Cork Ireland in 2024 and beyond.
“Belgium and the Netherlands are important markets for tourism to Ireland and fact-finding visits like this are a key element of the work that Tourism Ireland undertakes with the travel trade in both countries.”