Tourism Ireland recently held its annual GCC Sales Mission event, which took place in a virtual format this year from March 8-9.
The aim of Virtual Ireland Meets the Middle East 2021 was to connect the island of Ireland’s industry experts with high-end travel agents and tour operators spanning the Middle East, including the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The event entailed various workshops that provided an opportunity for the island to share key updates and information to market the destination in the Middle East for 2021 and beyond.
More than 300 travel agents and tour operators attended and joined the one-to-one video appointments and networking sessions, as well as auditorium panel discussions and webinars, to further bolster business relationships in the region.
During the two-day event, Ireland’s luxury, outdoor and adventure portfolio, as well as its unique culture and fantastic culinary offerings, were promoted.
Director of markets, Tourism Ireland, Siobhan McManamy commented on the event: “Our aim with this event was to further strengthen our strong relationships with the travel industry and agencies to showcase the very best of Ireland. We’re confident 2021 will see the restart of international travel, and Tourism Ireland have been actively planning for this restart and working hard on the ground to ensure we’re ready to welcome back visitors. With this in mind, we are focusing on our luxury offerings, with more emphasis on the private experiences, personalised services and outdoor activities, to showcase Ireland as a must-visit destination for residents in the Middle East.”
CEO, Al Naboodah Travel, Nasir Khan also noted: “It’s been very informative to hear about Ireland’s offerings to encourage tourists from the Middle East over these past two days. It’s clear to see that the island of Ireland offers something totally unique to the Middle East as well as having implemented all the newly required health and safety measures, without compromising the holiday experience that makes Ireland so special. By hosting these fascinating talks, workshops and one-to-ones, we were able to get some real insight and information which will help us when it comes to helping residents plan their perfect trip to Ireland, once restrictions start to ease.”
A total of 27 of Ireland’s tourism stakeholders participated in the annual event. These included: Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort, Adams & Butler, Andras House Hotels, Ashford Castle Hotel, Belfast Travel Services, Dalriada Kingdom Tours, Dream Escapes, Dromoland Castle, Emerald VIP Services, G Golf Ireland, Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort, Giant Tours Ireland, Hastings Hotels, Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens, Ireland’s Blue Book, Kildare Village Retail, Killarney Hotels Limited, Luxurious Ireland, MHL Hotel Collection, Mount Juliet Estate, Trump Doonbeg, Sheen Falls Lodge, Secret Ireland Escapes, The Savoy Hotel, The Merrion Hotel, Titanic Belfast and House of Waterford Crystal.