Fáilte Ireland, in association with Waterways Ireland, this week welcomed over fifteen top overseas angling and cruising tour operators from Germany, France, The Netherlands and the UK to a one day Lakelands and Inland Waterways Destination Workshop in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone.
The all day workshop facilitated one-to-one meetings and provided opportunities for Tipperary tourism representatives, which included: the Abbey Court Hotel Lodges & Trinity Leisure Spa, Nenagh; Horse & Jockey Hotel, Thurles; Riverrun Cottages & Paddy’s Bar, Terryglass; and Terryglass Cottages - to meet with the overseas buyers and to explore serious business opportunities for the 2013 season, at a fraction of the cost of an individual sales trip.
In addition to the workshop a number of familiarisation trips were put together by the Lakeland and Inland Waterways team. These tailor-made tours included pike fishing on Lough Ree, canoe enthusiasts paddling their way on the Enniskillen canoe trail before visiting a number of other attractions such as Lough Allen Adventure Centre and Lough Key Forest Park. Indeed professional angling guide Bodo Funke was also on hand to offer his guiding services to the group, and learn first-hand more about Ireland, and get an authentic taste of what an Irish holiday can offer.
Speaking at the workshop, Fáilte Ireland’s Client Services Manager for the Lakelands, Colm Breheny, said:
“We are delighted to welcome this group of European angling/cruising tour operators to the Lakelands and Inland Waterways as they deliver significant amounts of business here. Their presence is testament to the strong appeal of our cruising and angling sector and the variety and attractiveness of the holiday activities on offer. Indeed over 107,000 overseas visitors engaged in angling while in Ireland in 2011 and spent €90 million while here. It is imperative that there is a strong message overseas that Tipperary offers a high quality experience, excellent accommodation choice and great value for money.
The familiarisation trips provide a great opportunity for the overseas operators to experience first-hand the full-on Ireland hospitality and can play a key role in closing the deal and encouraging the agents to choose the Lakelands and Inland Waterways as a holiday destination for their customers.”