200 influential German travel professionals and journalists will attend, reports Clodagh Dooley
Der Touristik, a major German tour operator and the largest tour operator from Mainland Europe to the island of Ireland, has announced it will host its prestigious annual travel academy in Killarney, in April 2022. The event is always held in leading travel destinations – most recently, prior to Covid-19, in Cuba in 2019 and in Finland in 2018.
Killarney beat off challenges from a number of other top destinations to host the 2022 event.
This will be the first overseas event for Der Touristik since the outbreak of Covid-19. The travel academy was originally due to take place in Ireland in April 2020, but was postponed because of the pandemic. It is being supported by Tourism Ireland, in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and Limerick Travel.
This is Der Touristik’s annual event and will take place over three nights, on 3rd-6th April 2022. Around 200 top German travel agents, as well as influential travel journalists and senior managers from Der Touristik, are expected to participate.
In addition to attending the travel academy, delegates will have the opportunity to participate in specially designed pre-conference tours across the island of Ireland – to enhance their knowledge of the tourism experiences and attractions on offer here and allow them to sample our legendary hospitality and welcome. As well as generating valuable off-season business, giving the local economy a significant boost before the high season, the annual travel academy always helps boost German visitor numbers to the host destination in subsequent years.
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, says: “It is a tremendous honour for Killarney to have won this prestigious event in the face of competition from other destinations. Tourism Ireland is delighted to have played its part in securing this event, which confirms Killarney and Ireland as a world-class destination.
“Germany is our third-largest source of visitors and in 2019, we welcomed 749,000 German visitors to the island of Ireland. This travel academy presents a superb opportunity to show these influential travel agents what’s on offer here and will help increase German visitor numbers, as we restart overseas tourism in 2022 to the island of Ireland.”
Paul Kelly, Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland, adds: “For Irish tourism to recover and grow in the long-term, it’s vital that there is a strong message that Ireland offers a safe, high-quality experience, with a diverse range of attractions and activity products and a wide selection of accommodation choices. Fáilte Ireland is delighted to support this initiative by helping to host these highly influential agents next April and showcasing the excellent tourism destinations, products and people in Ireland. This will continue to drive long term demand by ensuring that these agents can confidently encourage their customers in Germany to choose Ireland as a holiday destination.”
Kevin Keogh, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing for Der Touristik, says: “As the market leader for tourism from Germany to the island of Ireland for over 50 years, DER Touristik is delighted to bring its 200 top travel agents to Ireland for our 2020 Academy and to encourage them the discover the destination.”
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