Big ‘Ja’ For Killarney

Lakes of Killarney
Eagles Nest, The Long Range, Upper Lakes, Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry Photo by Tourism Ireland

It’s one of Ireland’s most picturesque towns and it’s emerged some of Europe’s leading tourism lights are set to savour the town that can justifiably be regarded as the jewel of the country’s south west next year.

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 October 2020.

The event is always held in leading travel destinations – most recently in Cuba in 2019 and in Finland in 2018.

The Kingdom town beat off challenges from a number of other top destinations to host the 2020 event.

medium Christmas decorations in Killarney 3
Killarney will have some heavy hitting tourism visitors next autumn Pic by Tourism Ireland

The congress is DER Touristik’s annual event and will take place over three nights, in October 2020. Around 300 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 during a traditionally quieter time, the annual travel academy always helps boost German visitor numbers to the host destination in subsequent years.

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Killarney main street always bustling . Photo Tourism Ireland

Welcoming the news, Minister for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, said: “The decision by Der Touristik to hold its 2020 travel academy in Killarney is a real vote of confidence in Killarney and Ireland and is testament to the strong appeal of Kerry and the island of Ireland as a ‘must see’ destination for German holidaymakers. With around 300 travel professionals expected to attend, this event will provide us with a wonderful opportunity to showcase Kerry and Ireland as a destination with a wide range of things to see and do, particularly in the shoulder season months. It will also deliver longer-term benefits for Kerry and Ireland as a whole.”

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “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 2018 we welcomed 784,000 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 the number of German holidaymakers to Ireland in 2021 and beyond.”

Paul Kelly, Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland, commented: “Securing international distribution for Irish tourism products is critical to driving greater regional and seasonal dispersal of business. Der Touristik is a key and valued partner to Irish tourism and we would like to congratulate Killarney and Tourism Ireland on winning this congress for Ireland in 2020. We are delighted to have this opportunity to support Tourism Ireland and our industry partners to showcase the very best of Irish tourism to this key group of visiting tour operators and agents.”

Kevin Keogh, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing for Der Touristik, said: “As the market leader for tourism from Germany to the island of Ireland for well over 50 years, DER Touristik is delighted to bring its 300 hundred top travel agents to Ireland for our 2020 Academy and to encourage them the discover the destination.” Something many towns around the world would give their right arms for. Up the Kingdom!