Spain – Ireland’s Number One Holiday Destination

Spain – Ireland’s Number One Holiday Destination

Over 80 million tourists visit Spain each year, making it one of the three most visited countries in the world. Spain is also the number one holiday destination for Irish holidaymakers.

Teresa Gancedo, Director, Spanish Tourist Office, Dublin, said: “To travel to Spain is to experience sun, superb food, hospitality and joie de vivre, and yet it is also to discover the country’s rich heritage of monuments and sites, the imprint of the different civilisations that once made it their home, or to journey through its singular and breathtaking countryside and delight in the stunning, starkly contrasting scenery, study the customs of its people and towns, and share in their local fiestas and traditions.

“To travel to Spain is to opt for diversity, to be the central character in what is sure to be a truly unforgettable trip. This is what makes Spain such prized destination worldwide, and why the vast majority of those who visit it once, return…

“There are many reasons to choose Spain as holiday destination – and proximity is one of them. The many air routes and, since May 2018, the new Cork-Santander direct ferry, encourage this.

“Andalucia, the Canary Islands, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands have been the most popular in previous years, so if you want something different you can visit the following:

“The central area around Madrid (Castille Leon) is relatively unknown and has a lot of culture, history and hearty food and wine. The high-speed train network in Spain is second to none and if you fly into Madrid you can quickly and comfortably get to Salamanca, Toledo, El Escorial, Segovia and Burgos to explore authentic Spain.

“In the north of Spain, with its beautiful Atlantic coastline, you can visit Asturias, Galicia, Cantabria and the Basque Country (País Vasco).

“For those who want to explore the beauty and nature of Spain, one recommendation is Picos de Europa, the mountain nature park in Asturias, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

“A great way to travel around Spain nationwide, including the islands, is by using the Paradores network for accommodation. These are over 90 hotels owned and run by the State in order to preserve and maintain buildings of exceptional historical and architectural value.

“The Lonely Planet travel guide designated Seville as the number one city to visit in 2018 and, more recently, Lonely Planet named the Spanish region of Cantabria as one of Europe’s hottest destinations for 2018.

“Seville, an old town with strong Moorish roots (Arabs from North Africa), offers very rich architecture. The city was an accomplishment of three cultures – Moslem Arab, Jewish and Christian – alternately living together and overlapping. Seville was a wealthy city during the discovery of America, which can be seen in its ornate and intricate houses and palaces. The city also has an active and vibrant Gypsy population that has mainly cultivated the Flamenco style of song and dance.

“Cantabria offers a bit of everything. The coastline is made up of low cliffs, stunning beaches and colourful fishing ports. The variable weather gives the land beautiful shades of green on the soft hills and inland mountains, which are fascinating to explore with ancient villages and farmland.

“The capital city, Santander, provides a slice of urban life, with long beaches and lively bodegas. Santillana del Mar is a quaint medieval town nearby and Comillas, a famous university town, is well worth a visit. The prehistoric art of Altamira, El Castillo and Covalanas caves offers some of the oldest and finest in the world. Cantabria’s rugged ranges finish at the mountain walls of the Picos de Europa in the west.”


Awards Gala Dinner

The Gala Dinner for the 2018 Irish Travel Trade Awards will be held on Friday 23rd November 2018 at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin 4. The 2017 event can be viewed here:


Gold Headline sponsorships, including a table of 12, are €4,750 + VAT. Silver sponsorships, including a table of 10, are €3,500 + VAT. Other sponsorship opportunities are available and we are happy to discuss individual requirements.

Click here to download our Awards Brochure

Table Bookings

Table of 12: €1,980 + VAT @ 23% = €2,435.40

Table of 10: €1,650 + VAT @ 23% = €2,029.50

One seat: €165 + VAT @ 23% = €202.95

Click here to download our Booking Form


For more information, to confirm a sponsorship, or to book a table, please contact:

Hilary Drumm, Event Sponsorship Manager

E:, M: +353 (0)85 777 0400
Ian Bloomfield

E:, M: +353 (0)86 367 4945

Michael Flood

E:, M: +353 (0)87 255 4333

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at

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