Rituparna Chatterjee – Mumbai
Tourism Ireland recently launched their Ireland Specialist training programme for the India market during their India Sales Mission 2014 visit to Mumbai and Delhi respectively. The programme has been launched to improve the knowledge of the Indian travel agents on the destination, help them sell it effectively and keep them updated on the latest news and information. The programme offers six modules with two categories of certifications – Gold Ireland Specialist and Silver Ireland Specialist. On completing the modules, those who score a 100 per cent will become a Gold Ireland Specialist, while the ones scoring slightly below will be a Silver Ireland Specialist.
Elaborating more on the programme, Amanda Burns, general manager – Middle East and Asia, Tourism Ireland stated, “The six modules provide information on Ireland like available flights, visa, events/new activities taking place, etc. We are hoping to get 750 qualified Ireland Specialists from India this year.” The Ireland Specialist training programme was launched in GCC in January and South Africa in February, and will be launched in China in April and then Australia. “At the end of this year, we will be hosting a competition wherein the Gold Ireland Specialists of all the countries will compete with each other to win a holiday to Ireland,” she added.
Furthermore, Tourism Ireland has also launched two products – Wild Atlantic Way and Causeway Coastal Touring Route – this year. “Wild Atlantic Way is the longest driving route in the world. It is a 2500 km route from Donegal to West Cork. This along with Causeway Coastal Touring Route can be experienced in sections or in whole through self-drives, organised coach tours, chauffeur driven cars, etc,” opined Burns.
Speaking about the arrivals to Ireland, Burns revealed, “In 2012, we had 21,000 Indian visitors to Ireland. 2013 was a positive year and in 2014 we expect 24,000 arrivals from India, which would be a seven to 10 per cent growth in arrivals.”