IRELAND EYES WESTERN CANADA
Tourism Ireland introduced its new concept “Senses of Ireland” event series earlier this month with a trip to Western Canada. With calls in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver, the events featured eight Irish suppliers intent on taking travel advisors on a “sensory journey through the breathtaking landscapes and rich culture of the island of Ireland” while showcasing their diverse range of products.
The event series is focused on the Canada’s best cities to drive business to Ireland and kicked off in Calgary, a core feeder market for the Ireland thanks to direct air access into Dublin with WestJet from May through October.
Next up was Edmonton, in collaboration with the Granite Expo trade show, where Tourism Ireland connected with over 80 agents at a pre-show event.
The event series concluded in Vancouver, which boasts direct air access from Vancouver to Dublin with Air Canada, seasonally from June 1 to Sept. 20, four times per week in both directions.
While the airline has direct daily service from Toronto to Dublin, with so many heritage connections on the west coast, the direct route over peak travel season is a welcome yearly addition to the western market, says Tourism Ireland.
At the events, attendees were uniquely invited to explore various “sense stations” designed to stimulate their senses. Attendees had the opportunity to:
• Touch: Immerse themselves in Irish traditions by interacting with the people and the products synonymous with the island of Ireland.
• Taste: Savour the flavours of Irish food and drink, with whiskey and chocolate pairings from Jameson Distillery in Cork and Dublin, flavours of the coast with Mussenden Sea Salt and fresh apple tarts from the orchard county with Visit Armagh.
• Sight: Experience breath taking visuals that showcase the island’s natural beauty through immersive augmented reality technology; with VR headsets from Taste Causeway and The Gobbins in Northern Ireland.
• Sound: Tune into the melodic tales of Ireland’s rich culture with Irish language lessons, music, dance, and song, from partners Oideas Gael in County Donegal and Angela Newman from Hysterical Histories Cork.
• Smell: Breathe in the evocative scent of Irish turf, a fragrance that encapsulates the essence of Ireland, as well as live demonstrations using a ‘mini smoker’ of smoked salmon from The Burren Smokehouse paired with Burren Gold Cheese from Ailwee Caves.
“Senses of Ireland’ was an event unlike any other we have executed before,” said Tourism Ireland, Canada, Manager Sandra Moffatt. “The key cities of Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver in Western Canada are a very important market for us, and we are delighted to be highlighting the superb tourism offerings around the island of Ireland in a unique and immersive way.
“This event series provided our industry partners with the opportunity to meet and network and highlight their product offering in a real time way with an exclusive audience of top tier agents, operators, and media, providing increased opportunities for business in 2024 and beyond.”
Canada is the 10th largest market for overseas tourism to Ireland, with 248,000 visitors in 2019, marking 10 years of consecutive growth.
First published at Travel Industry Today