Flying the Flag for Britain and Ireland
Both the UK and Ireland have identified the importance of the USA as a source of visitors. New York has more flights to the UK and Ireland than any other destination in the country. Both Visit Britain and Tourism Ireland have offices in New York. Why, then, was there so little representation from either country at the New York Times Travel Show?
Only Causeway Coast and Glens from Northern Ireland and Destination Bristol (along with the airport) were there and getting lot of interest from the visitor to the show. On Saturday I tried to talk to both of them but they were far to busy with people. Eventually I caught up with them just as the show was closing on Sunday. Both had been exhibiting at the show before. Both were happy with the interest they were getting and both planned to return next year. One of the US based companies exhibiting with the Causeway, Amazing Irish Tours, had actually sold holidays to the province whilst they were there.
So what happened to Visit Britain and Tourism Ireland? Their main remit is to attract visitors from overseas destinations. Both have financial restraints and may have decided that because New York is a strong feeder to both countries their money might be better spent elsewhere in the US. But both could have asked if either of the flagwavers would like a bit of support and perhaps a break for their personnel. How much effort and cost does it take to put a thousand leaflets about either country onto the two stands?