CIE Tours – the largest operator of guided tours to Ireland in the North American market – has said booking levels for this year are already ahead of expectations.
The company said it brought more than 25,000 visitors here last year and
Speaking at the presentation of CIE Tours’ Annual Awards of Excellence, this week, the company’s chief executive Elizabeth Crabill said;“We are very encouraged by the pipeline of bookings for the coming year, which are ahead of expectations, and we look forward to ensuring that our partners and our host communities continue to benefit from our success in attracting visitors to travel with us to Ireland”.
“The Irish holiday experience is unique, and its popularity is very evident in the strong rebound we witnessed once international travel re-opened following the pandemic. I want to acknowledge the resilience of our tourism partners who, having had a very difficult few years, enthusiastically welcomed back our visitors once restrictions were lifted,” Ms Crabill said.
Ms Crabill said that as one of the longest established tour operators in Ireland, CIE Tours is well placed to help Ireland capitalise on the growing interest in sustainable and responsible tourism. Citing a recent Expedia survey, which showed that consumers are increasingly seeking ways to have more conscientious travel experiences and options to support local culture and communities within a destination, she pointed to CIE Tours’ 91-year track record of bringing visitors to high quality tourism destinations in rural locations, where visitors have a rich experience gaining an understanding of local culture.
“Our itineraries visit many rural areas of Ireland and over many years we have helped local tourism operators to survive and thrive, creating valuable local employment. With our experience and knowledge, we can be a strong partner in to Fáilte Ireland in achieving its ambition to develop Ireland as a high-quality tourism destination that facilitates a healthy and sustainable industry, while having positive impacts on host communities, and contributing to the preservation and enhancement of the environment.” she said.
“As we develop and implement realistic and meaningful sustainability actions and behaviours, we are committed to working closely with our partners because it is their businesses which are facing first-hand the changing dynamics of tourism, the cash-flow concerns of seasonality, and the climate change impact on local communities and natural spaces. It is encouraging that so many have already begun their own sustainability journeys and together we can build an even stronger sector with responsible tourism at its core.”