Ireland lures Indian cinephiles

Tourism Ireland conducted its annual sales mission in Mumbai and Delhi to apprise the travel trade of new tourism products for Indian travellers. Ireland is promoting screen tourism to showcase the shooting locations where Game of Thrones and Star Wars were shot.

I n the words of David Boyce, Head – Developing Markets, Tourism Ireland, 30,000 Indians currently visit Ireland each year and the destination believes that this number can grow to 50,000 over the next two-three years. Considered to be an important market for Ireland, the destination plans to keep in touch with the Indian travel trade through the Sales Missions in India. 12 Irish agencies participated in the sales mission this year, held in Mumbai and Delhi which was attended by over 100 travel agents in each city, informed Beena Menon, Representative – India, Tourism Ireland.

Boyce explains, “The air service has never been better. We have good connectivity with Emirates, a double daily service by Etihad and now Qatar Airlines with its operations beginning from India through the Middle East into Ireland.”

“We have seen a growth of about 34 per cent up till the end of August in 2017. Currently, leisure travel is predominant in Ireland but we have seen an increasing interest in MICE travel to the country. MICE and incentive travel is a revenue generator as though the stay is shorter, the expense is higher. Traditionally, visitors would stay two-three nights in Ireland as part of their UK trip but we are working hard to increase the length of stay,” adds Boyce. Tourism Ireland is also investing to revamp the website for Irish Specialist programme to make it easier for the trade to engage with the destination.

According to Huzan Fraser Motivala, Representative – India, Tourism Ireland, there is an increased interest among Indian travellers towards Ireland and an annual growth of 14 per cent is testimony to the same. She points out that the British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS) has been one of the key drivers to the growth. Motivala says, “Ireland has been declared as the Game of Thrones Territory by the makers of this TV show and we hope to capitalise on the same by offering various tourism related products around the theme of screen tourism.” She further adds that Tourism Ireland works very closely with the Indian travel trade. “We conduct 2-3 trade Fam trips each year, do training workshops, joint cooperation activities among other campaigns for the trade. MICE and group travel is picking up in Ireland from India and business is mostly driven from West and North India to various cities in Ireland,” she adds.

Ireland beckons

  • Tourism Ireland is investing to revamp the website for Irish Specialist programme to make it easier for the trade to engage with the destination

  • MICE and group travel is picking up in Ireland from India and business is mostly driven from West and North India to various cities in Ireland

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