We've been busy during February
Dates: February 3, 2016
Heritage Island attended this new format business-to-business workshop, organised by Fáilte Ireland at Croke Park. Different to other tour operator events we have attended to date, this workshop focused on the increasingly relevant Online Travel Agents (OTAs). Many of the companies we met with are looking to increase their product offering in Ireland. Most started out with a focus on offering hotel rooms, but they are now seeing the potential of offering a selection of ‘what to see and do’ in Ireland also. While they are keen to work with individual properties, we are also exploring the possibility of working with a few of them on the basis of profiling a group of attractions on their sites. Some of those we met included: bookunited.com, yatra.com, e-Dreams/Odigeo, Luxurybreaks.ie, GTA Travel….. Each company provided a presentation before the actual workshop which was sent onto us via Fáilte Ireland. We have these available to forward to anyone who is interested. Just let us know.
Dates: February 17, 2016
The Tourism Northern Ireland ‘Great Days Out’ Fairs for Group Organisers take place annually in Northern Ireland. This year, this one day event took place in
Armagh, and Tourism Northern Ireland organised coach loads of group organisers and members to visit this showcase.
Last year, there were two events, however this year they combined both NI and ROI groups into the one day, which worked really well. The groups arrived en masse, and numerous Heritage Island Travel Organisers Manuals and touring guides/discount passes were distributed. The event also provided us with the opportunity of meeting with many of our Northern Ireland members who also had stands at this event. The types of groups attending included ICA, Active Retirement Associations, Societies, etc.
Date: February 27, 2016
As you will know, Les Clefs d’Or is the international association of concierge. This worldwide association is well recognized as being one of the most impressive groups in terms of influencing where visitors go, and what they see and do during their stay within a destination.
We were delighted to be at the top table of their annual Ireland gala event, which took place this year in Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel in Dublin, in the affable company of their current President Paul Fitzsimons of the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel.
Heritage Island have been an associate member now for 3 years, and through this we are developing a solid relationship with the overall organisation, helping us to increase the exposure of our members within this concierge group who are responsible for offering recommendations to guests daily.
We produced and moved our A4 Travel Organisers Manual 2016/2017 into distribution. This is a hugely popular publication of specific interest to FIT and group operators / organisers, and is used by Travel Professionals worldwide to help them plan their Ireland programmes and itineraries.
The free 52-page guide features all 87 Premium Attractions and Heritage Towns in an easy-to-read format. It includes full profiles, opening times, facilities for groups, average length of visit, admission prices and key contacts. In addition to the printed copies, the travel trade can download a PDF copy from our online resource centre OR view an electronic version there too. You can view it online here.
We continue to build content on our new Heritage Island website – adding YOUR events as we get them, along with consumer and travel trade news and tour suggestions.
We have also added some new features:
- The new “Travel Trade” section, highlights information of relevance to travel professionals and influencers of business into Ireland.
- Our new ‘Useful Resources’ section, supports and facilitate brochure downloads e.g. PDFs or electronic copies of Heritage Island publications.
One of the new features we've inbuilt into our Heritage Island website is the ability to easily group attractions any way we, or you, want to promote them. We can now group member attractions by county, city, region, attraction type, by any route, by Dart/Luas, by a theme, by seasonal events, even by attractions participating at a future trade or consumer show. If you can think of a theme we can group it, and we can also send you a link if you wish to promote a cluster of attractions or have others do so. We'll be using this feature throughout the year, as appropriate and in response to opportunities, to promote different groupings to consumers and the travel trade.
Think about how you could use it or encourage others to use it. Here's just one example of a link to 'Gardens'. Any ideas welcome too!
We love receiving new photos and updates to your online profiles, and we have been editing as we get them. Keep them coming in. If you want to know how to thoroughly check your own profile, here’s a link to our self-check guide.
We are adding your 2016 events to the Events Calendar on our website, as we get them. You can see them and how they present here and how easily the travel trade and consumers can find them.
We cannot feature ALL your events, but can feature your TOP PRIORITY events. You can submit any major Events – against THESE 2 Criteria:
- You can email a maximum of 3 TOP PRIORITY events for 2016. These can be separate to any Christmas events (we will seek the latter separately, later in 2016). You will only benefit if you send us details well in advance of the event, as we target overseas visitors.
- The events must be your PRIORITY events. As you can only send 3 events, if you have lots of events in summer, you could group and highlight them as your 'summer season' events
Send in your top 3 Events NOW: You don’t need to fill in any forms, you can email your event details to John@Accolades.ie. You just need to name the event, the dates, its location, a concise description (60 words or less) and the website address where trade/consumers can get more information. If there is a deep-link to the precise web page it features on, please include the link. We also need a photo to represent each event. It should be either landscape or square in shape.
Within-Ireland Distribution of Heritage Island Brochures
We have now contracted with 3 different brochure distribution companies to ensure that the Heritage Island DL brochures are available throughout hotels, other accommodations, attractions, airports, etc. across the island of Ireland from this month forward.
The A5 touring guides are now also available for visitors to purchase in Ireland at the tourist office at 37 College Green, College Green, directly opposite Trinity College and 69, O Connell Street, Dublin 2, and of course on-line on our website.
If you would like to stock and sell a quantity of Heritage Island touring guides in your own tourist information or gift shop, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can let you know of the special member trade rates.
As in previous years, some overseas operators have also been in touch with us and we have supplied them with considerable quantities of our touring guide maps. This includes DER Tours (Germany), Gaeland Ashling (France), L’Atelier du Voyages (Switzerland) and Cocktail Viaggi (Italy).
The A5 touring guides have also been distributed in bulk quantities to a few operators including ITOA members such as Moloney & Kelly and Abbey Tours and overseas business such as Royal Irish Tours (Canada) and Irland Journal (Germany).
We’ll continue to distribute these brochures and guides throughout the year.