Indian travellers are resilient

Once travel restrictions are eased, travellers will look for destinations that are not too crowded, and the island of Ireland fits the bill perfectly! With social distancing as the new normal, self-drive tours will get popular as they are one of the best ways to experience scenic Ireland.

Hazel Jain

Tourism Ireland has been keeping the interest in the destination alive through the pandemicwith trade and consumer activities on virtual and social media platforms.Tourism Ireland India has been engaging with the trade through online trainings and webinars to keep them updated about the offerings in Ireland so they can sell the destination once demand picks up. Sharing details about this is Huzan Fraser Motivala, India Representatives, Tourism Ireland, who says, “We have also been sending out newsletters updating the trade on Irish products and services, safety and hygiene guidelines.Tourism Ireland is undertaking a range of PR activities to keep the destination alive in the minds of the Indian traveller.On the cards is a tie-up with an Indian Netflix star who is currently in Ireland to create exciting digital content that we can promote.We are also looking at PR initiatives with a television channel which will feature Ireland content.”

Ireland’s annual workshop, Meitheal and Meet The Buyer (MTB) 2020 could not take place in March 2020. Hence, Tourism Ireland conducted Virtual Meitheal and MTB for its global travel partners. Over 12 Indian trade partners participated in the workshops and had over 1,200 meetings with the Irish industry. Sharing the numbers from India in 2019 and her expectations for 2021-2022, Motivala says, “ln 2018, Ireland welcomed 40,000 Indian visitors and we expect this number has gone up by 15-20 per cent in 2019. In the post-COVID travel era, travellers will look for less populated destinations and given the demography and geography of the island of Ireland, we believe Indian visitors will definitely increase in 2021-2022.” She believes that when the restrictions are lifted, Indians will definitely travel.

Speaking about activities that she thinks will appeal to Indians after the pandemic, Beena Menon, India Representatives, Tourism Ireland, says, “For travellers looking to make a quick trip to Ireland, a dual city break (Belfast and Dublin) is a great idea. The world’s longest, clearly-defined coastal self-driving route, the Wild Atlantic Way, is in Ireland and stretches across 2,500 kms. It is a sensational journey of soaring cliffs and buzzing towns and cities, of hidden beaches and epic bays. We will continue to focus on our key target segments of leisure, self-drive, M!CE, weddings, screen tourism and golf tourism.”


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