Major Travel Conference for Ireland

Major Travel Conference for Ireland

Killarney is having a busy off season.  Just having waved goodbye to over 2,500 delegates who attended the successful Google European Employee Conference, Killarney is now preparing for the arrival of some 900 German Travel Trade representatives for a Major Travel Agent’s Conference.

DERTOUR, the German Tour Operator and Market leader Worldwide for Tourism to Ireland for over 40 years has decided to host its prestigious DERTOUR Travel Academy in Killarney this year. The event is always held in leading tourism destinations including Toronto in 2008 and over the past number of years other hosting destinations were; Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Las Vegas, Cape Town, Beijing and Barcelona. Killarney beat off the challenges of a number of other top destinations such as Orlando, Florida and Porto in Portugal to host this year’s event.

Regarding DERTOUR’s decision to locate this major event in Killarney, Kevin Keogh said; “Even though DERTOUR is the market leader for Holidays to Ireland, we still see an enormous amount of potential for Ireland in the German and Austrian Markets”. He also commended the proposal that was made by Tourism Ireland and by the members of the Killarney Chamber of Commerce, “The level of professionalism shown during the discussions was at a standard that we rarely see in International Tourism” said Mr. Keogh.

Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “It is a tremendous honour for Killarney to have won this prestigious event in the face of considerable overseas competition.  Tourism Ireland is delighted to have played its part in securing this global event, which confirms Killarney as a world-class business and conference destination and will help to substantially increase the number of German and Austrian holidaymakers to the south-west in years to come.

“It is really important for an influential group like this to experience the exceptional beauty of Killarney and the south-west for themselves.  During their time here, they will participate in interactive workshops and daily sightseeing excursions.  With this practical knowledge and first-hand experience of Killarney and Ireland, they will be in a better position to develop attractive holiday packages and advise future clients effectively to consider Killarney and Ireland for their holiday destination.”

Jerry O’Grady, Killarney Chamber Executive said, “DERTOUR liked what we had to offer – a small town ambiance with unspoilt beauty, but with big city facilities – offering compactness yet diversity.  Within a 14 mile radius we have the Killarney National Park, the highest mountain in Ireland, the oldest oak wood, while in this same area we have a wide selection of accommodation for all budgets, which can cater for over 12,000 guests on a nightly basis. We are lucky that Tourism Ireland and Failte Ireland Southwest recognised the uniqueness of this and worked very closely with us in preparing the bid.”

Coupled with this the industry in Killarney has an ongoing ‘team’ mentality, which delivers a unique ability to work and pull together. This has been demonstrated time and time again and in particular on this occasion where the complicated and diverse proposal needed to be turned around in a matter of days. 

The Event has been running, on a once yearly basis, since 1974 and is the most well known and most successful Travel Agent Training Event worldwide.   The decision to award the conference to Killarney was made following a site visit to Killarney by DERTOUR Executives Kevin Keogh, Vice President Marketing & Sales and his colleague Dino Steinkamp. 

John Power, Chief Executive, Irish Hotels Federation states “Hotels and guesthouses are delighted to welcome DERTOUR to Killarney for its annual conference. The German and Austrian tourism markets are of immense importance to Ireland, and DERTOUR’s selection of Killarney this year is a great testament to the strong appeal of Ireland as a vibrant holiday destination. With over 700 travel agents in attendance, DERTOUR provides us with a tremendous opportunity to showcase Ireland as a destination with an exceptional range of activities and attractions for visitors. In terms of business tourism, DERTOUR is also an enormous vote of confidence in Ireland as a conference destination with excellent venues, purpose-built conference facilities and hotels providing great value in terms of accommodation and service.”

President of Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce Donnacha Galvin said, “As important as it is to have such volume business generated next November, of far greater importance is the undoubted spin-off benefits that will accrue to the region and Ireland as a whole in subsequent years.  Statistics show that the host country benefits by up to 25% in increased number of visitors from DERTOUR per year for up to 5 years after the actual event.”

Mr. Galvin went on to say “All the major accommodation providers in town and other stakeholders involved in making the bid for Killarney, were conscious of the longer term benefits and were very forthcoming in offering their facilities and services at rates that gave the bid every chance of succeeding. There is no doubt but that without this progressive, flexible and can-do approach, Killarney would not have been in the final shake-up”.


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