The Incoming Tour Operators Association – Ireland, comprising of 32 of Irelands leading inbound tour operators chose Dromoland Castle for their away weekend Conference this year.
Collectively the associations members annually deliver 750,000 tourists to the Island of Ireland from around the globe providing group touring, individual holiday and self-drive programmes and MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference & Event) business to every part of the country. Dromoland Castle provided the ideal venue for members to gather for a weekend of meetings, activity and relaxation, and experience the first-class service that the Castle delivers effortlessly to ITOA members clients.
This weekend saw outgoing ITOA President Darren Byrne hand over the reins to Rob Rankin, MD of Vagabond Tours. “I am delighted to be passing the chain of office to Rob having served the association for the last two years. It’s been a great honour to serve the association and one that I have enjoyed representing the members who deliver so much for Irish Tourism.”
The afternoons activities enjoyed by members on and around the estate kicked off with a tree planting ceremony. As part of the ITOA Responsible Tourism initiative 40 mature oak trees were donated, along with site clearance costs by ITOA members as part of their carbon off-setting for the weekend. President Rob Rankin said “we are delighted to be making this contribution to the estate. As well as the carbon off-set it also contributes to the Estates plan to replace trees that have been lost over the past years due to storm damage. According to Dorothy Madden, head gardener in Dromoland, oak trees take 300 years to grow, 300 years to live and 300 years to die, so it’s nice to know that our contribution to the environment will be enjoyed for generations to come.” Dromolands extensive parklands were explored by ITOA members enjoying guided history and garden walks, falconry and golf lessons. The group enjoyed a gala dinner in the Castle on Saturday night and were delighted to be joined my tourism business proprietors from Co.’s Clare and Limerick. “We are always very grateful to have the three CEO’s of Irelands Tourism agencies join us, Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland, Paul Kelly, Failte Ireland and John McGrillen from Tourism Northern Ireland with whom the association and its members work very closely to market and sell Ireland internationally. And Paul Carty MD of the Guinness Storehouse provided us with a terrific presentation at our meeting giving great insights into the Visitor Attractions sector with whom our members do so much business with nationally”.
Mark Nolan, MD of Dromoland Castle welcomed ITOA and its members. “Here at Dromoland we greatly value ITOA members business. We have a very long-established relationship with so many of the members and we were delighted to be the hosts for this year’s event. Its always a great opportunity to both thank members and acknowledge them for their business and the work they do in promoting us and Co. Clare overseas – having them with us is akin to welcoming back old and good friends and having their contribution to the regeneration of the estates forestry affirms our relationship for many years to come.”