Cork Airport and representatives from the Castlemartyr Estate, The River Lee Hotel, the Trident Hotel Kinsale, The Blue Haven Collection and the Macdonald Kinsale Hotel were part of an ‘Evolve Ireland’ event in Dublin on 3rd February organised by Failte Ireland that focused on helping Irish tourism businesses better target the online travel industry.
“For the 21st century traveller, if you are not online then you are not there,” said Paul Mockler, Head of Business Development, Fáilte Ireland. “Fáilte Ireland believes that the tourism sector needs to embrace online sales platforms and ‘Evolve Ireland’ is a central part of our wider strategy to develop stronger relationships with online tour operators, which will in turn help to sell Ireland, and indeed Cork, internationally.”
The European online tourism market continues to grow year on year and is expected to be worth over €126 billion this year. Research has highlighted that Ireland lags behind other markets in terms of fully exploiting digital sales strategies and indicated that knowledge of online platforms needed to improve.
“It is amazing how, in a few short years, the online travel market has grown and to where it is today,” said Kevin Cullinane, Cork Airport’s Head of Communications. “I see lots of opportunities for our partners in travel and tourism in the region to embrace this technology channel and evolve their businesses to grasp the opportunities the global travel market presents.”
The event saw Fáilte Ireland develop a suite of workshops focusing on the online travel industry to ensure that Irish tourism businesses in Cork fully realise their potential via online travel platforms.
“Expedia is delighted to attend the Fáilte Ireland Evolve Ireland 2016 Event,” said Helen Maher from Expedia. “Events like this are so important as they bring people from all corners of Ireland together, giving us the opportunity to meet with these accommodation providers to discuss ways for them to leverage their partnership with Expedia and to further increase their presence in the ever evolving online travel space.”
Evolve Ireland is the first in a series of events planned by Fáilte Ireland during 2016.