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From Cold to Cool – Norway Trade Event in The Iveagh Garden Hotel

At an event hosted by Alan Sparling of ASM Ireland last night at The Iveagh Garden Hotel, guests including Emer Roche and Ita Hendrick from the ITTN Group were treated to presentations by Visit Bergen, Fjord Norway, Visit Bodø, North Norway, and the Ambassador of Norway to Ireland, Mari Skåre.

In a chic private room of The Iveagh Gardens Hotel, which is Europe’s first sustainable hotel, evidenced by wall-to-wall sustainable flower arrangements and LED lighting, members of the travel trade enjoyed bowls of salmon and beef stroganoff, delicious wine, and presentations about all corners of Norway, which captured the group’s imagination. Ambassador of Norway to Ireland Mari Skåre opened the evening drawing parallels between Norway and Ireland. She described her home country as a ‘nature lovers paradise’.

Widerøe, which recently celebrated its 90th year in operation, provides direct flights from Dublin to Bergen. The twice-weekly service, currently operating on Thursday and Sunday, will expand its service to include Tuesdays from April.

Bergen is a World Heritage City known for its Bryggen harbour district and as a gateway to the Norwegian fjords. Paal Thunaes, speaking on behalf of Visit Bergen, spoke about boosting inbound tourism to Ireland, as well as the route opening up connections within Norway for Irish travellers to Bodø and Tromsø.

Marianne Johsen, Director of Sales with Fjord Norway, spoke of the unique beauty of the Fjords, and commented on how Irish and Norwegian people are connected through 20% DNA. She later shared a charming personal anecdote with Emer and Ita about an enduring friendship from her teens with a woman from Cork.

Kristen Konradsen, of Visit Bodø discussed the Northern Lights, and the never-setting sun above the Arctic Circle during the summer months.

At the end of the evening, Paul Thunaes gave everyone in attendance a ‘Bergen Card’ which allows free entry or discounted admission to museums and attractions, events, or sightseeing tours.

Without a doubt, inbound and outbound travel between Norway and Ireland looks set to increase. ITTN’s Carrie Day mentioned Bergen in her article yesterday about trending and emerging destinations. Sandra Mooney (The Travel Suite) commented that many customers are heading to the Nordic countries – opting for multi-centre holidays. See full article here: Industry Insights – Booking Trends and Emerging Destinations | ittn.ie

Emer Roche
Emer Roche
Emer has over 10 years experience working for Irish magazines, supplements, websites and creative agencies. She’s written features for U Magazine, Image Magazine and theheyday.ie, across a range of subjects such as women’s interest, travel, culture, news and interviews. She also has a portfolio of commercial writing for creative agencies, such as RTE.ie and Originate Creative. Emer is a Dublin native with part of her heart in Ardmore, County Waterford. She lives in Dublin 7 with her husband, two kids, dog and cat.

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