Why Ireland should be top of travel bucket lists for 2020

Galway 2020 – The charming city of Galway on the west coast of Ireland has been selected as European Capital of Culture for 2020, one of the largest cultural events in the world! With events taking place everywhere from the wild, savage beauty of Connemara to the welcoming bustle of Galway’s towns, villages and city, the region will come alive like never before. Galway was even named as one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2020!

Northern Ireland Embrace a Giant Spirit – A new destination brand was recently launched at World Travel Market to showcase a land built by a Giant Spirt – a warm, engaging and big-hearted island built by pioneers and entrepreneurs with a rich cultural history, reflected through words, music and craft. What that means for you is that in Northern Ireland it is now easier to find unforgettable experiences, easier to locate first-class hosts and exceptional food and drink, and easier for you to create itineraries so joined-up, so seamless, that they feel effortless! Learn more at embraceagiantspirit.com

Delicious dishes – You might not think of food when you think of Ireland – but you should! Ireland has gone from strength to strength in recent years when it comes to food and drink, with the green pastures, deep valleys, and abundant waters surrounding the island helping to create outstanding natural flavours. In fact, Ireland now boasts 17 Michelin starred restaurants, and a festival in celebration of the incredible culinary experience in Ireland takes place across the country from September – November, so there’s no better time to Taste the Island!

The Home of Halloween – Rooted in ancient tradition, the holiday we now know as Halloween originated in Ireland as the Celtic festival of Samhain, which marked the beginning of Winter. And these ancient traditions are still celebrated today, with festivals such as Púca, a supernatural celebration of storytelling, music and food in Ireland’s historic Boyne Valley or Derry Halloween – once named “best Halloween destination in the world” by USA Today and listed in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities in World.

Ancient History and Culture – Ireland is a land of storytellers, and tales of love lost, ancient battles, invasion, rebellion, and magnificent beauty can be found across the island. The roots of Ireland’s ancient history and culture run particularly deep throughout the region known as Ireland’s Ancient East, where travellers can peel back the layers of 5,000 years of history with sites like Glendalough in Co. Wicklow, explore the fortresses like Kilkenny Castle or discover monuments older than the Pyramids of Giza in the historic Boyne Valley.

A year-round destination – Ireland is the perfect destination no matter the season, with seasonal direct routes to Dublin from Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax and year-round air access from Toronto providing lots of options for travel plans. The weather is never a problem either, with winter air temperatures averaging a balmy 4-6 °C – a welcome respite from the extremes we experience here in Canada. Visiting Ireland in the shoulder season also provides benefits such as smart savings with even better value for money, and no lines!

Meet the team – Tourism Ireland has a team of five based in Toronto and continues to work with the travel trade and industry partners across Canada offering training and supports via monthly email updates, webinars, fam trips and events. We actively encourage the travel trade to join the NEW dedicated Ireland Insiders Facebook group, exclusive to travel agents, which provides VIP access to event invites, fam trips, product announcements and offers/commission-based incentives from Ireland travel partners. In 2020, Tourism Ireland will host travel agent events in Vancouver, Langley, Edmonton and Calgary (February 4-7), and Ottawa Laval and Halifax (September 1-4) providing direct connections to Irish partners and highlighting the many incredible experiences the island of Ireland has to offer throughout the year. For more information, please reach out to Sandra Moffatt, Trade and Digital Marketing Executive, Tourism Ireland, smoffatt@tourismireland.com

Happy Holidays from the Tourism Ireland team in Toronto!

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