Tourism Ireland showcased their luxury offerings with 14 key partners from the island at the recently concluded third edition of Tfest in Dubai. Most influential buyers from across the globe attended the four-day event, which is one of the most exclusive meeting points for those who cater to luxury high end travellers.
The first part of the day included one on one meetings with the affluent buyers who flew across the globe to meet the luxury exhibitors who displayed all their offerings. Tourism Ireland’s 14 iconic luxury island of Ireland industry partners who joined in the event, were Adare Manor, Ashford Castle, Cashel Palace Hotel, Galgorm, Culloden Estate, Hayfield Manor, K Club, The Merrion Hotel, The Shelbourne Hotel, MHL Collection, Trump Hotel & Golf Resort Doonbeg, Irelands Blue Book, By Appointment DMC and Luxurious Ireland.
As part of their afternoon experiences on the Tourism Ireland stand in the Global Village they brought in their concept to life showcasing Ireland through unique experiences under the title – ‘Awakening your senses in Ireland’ and they brought in friends from Ireland who brought this to life. It was a really unforgettable experience with Keith Barry (Irish born) world’s leading TV hypnotist, mentalist and brain hacker, who took everyone by surprise.
Speaking to TravTalk, Olivia Frawley – Executive Pan Market Luxury, Tourism Ireland shared, “We are very excited to be here at Tfest this year as we elevated our partnership with the event, as we felt that it provided us a great opportunity to highlight the 14 wonderful partners we brought with us to Tfest with our luxury messaging and warm hospitality. We have a mixture of beautiful five star luxury hotels, DMCs, experiences and the most amazing is the fact that we have 14 of them and all situated in the same area, the global village and everyone is busy with their B2B meetings.”
Ireland’s programme “Sensorium in Ireland” a way one can taste, tour and discover the Emerald isle aligning your senses. Phil Ervine, Co-Founder, The Spirit Circle Belfast Ireland, reiterated, “We are here with Tourism Ireland with an interactive drinks experience called Sensorium we are asking guests to tap into their sensorial experiences awakening their senses and relating them to different areas in the island of Ireland.”
Michelle Maguire – Ireland’s Bluebook, shared, “We are here to meet travel professionals from all around the world as well as the GCC to tell them all about Ireland and all the gorgeous, luxury hotels we have in the island of Ireland. It’s really been an engaging couple of days, we are finding out what their clients want and we are very confident that Ireland offers that. I know that when people travel from GCC they travel with their families and a lot of Bluebook hotels offer accommodation that really suits large families and also our hotels are really rich in history and that can offer something different, its wonderful to stay in an Irish castle and to learn about its history and wander around the beautiful green gardens, I really think Ireland and our hotels resonate with this market.”
Eoin McGrath – Assistant Sales Director – Hastings Hotel Group represented. The Culloden Estate and Spa. “It’s great to be back here at Tfest, this is my second year and its great to have a bigger delegation of Irish hotels. Tfest brings together some of the world’s best travel advisors and this market is something that is growing for the island of Ireland and we love whenever that we can welcome the clients from the GCC market to the hotel because we really have great options for them at the Culloden Estate and Spa,” McGrath said.
Melissa Steele – Sales and Marketing Executive – Casher Palace hotel, said, “It is an amazing opportunity to be at TFest, especially among such a fantastic group of other hotels and travel designers represented by Tourism Ireland. TFest has been a brilliant way to expose our brand to a far-reaching selection of buyers, many of whom we have never met before. The UAE market is also an increasingly important one for Ireland, so it has provided an excellent opportunity to meet so many buyers from this region in particular.”
Liz Godfrey – Assistant Director of Sales – Adare Manor, said, “It is the first time that we are exhibiting here at Tfest, we see the UAE as an emerging market for us with over five flights a day, seven days a week coming from the UAE directly into Dublin which is fantastic lift and also with the Ryder Cup coming into Adare in 2027, we certainly see it as a growth market for us, a market that we are going to concentrate in the next number of years is going to be the UAE market.”
Gillian Costelloe – Business Development Manager & Creative Partner, – By appointment DMC, said, “By appointment DMC is a luxury leisure DMC, we promote the island of Ireland as an ultra-luxe destination and curate itineraries and bespoke experiences for high nett worth individuals. Being here with Tourism Ireland is very important as key sponsor for Tfest this year and as Ireland was announced among the top 10 winter destination for UAE travellers this year.”
Tania Dawson – Executive Director – Luxurious Ireland, said, “This is our second time attending Tfest its fantastic now as the Irish delegation has expanded, last year it was a handful of us and this year we have 14 delegation and we have our own exclusive stand here with Tourism Ireland making this market aware of what is available in Ireland and what is there to see. We are a DMC in Ireland, so for any guests who are looking at visiting Ireland from when they arrive into Ireland to departure we can create a full customised itinerary for them including private security on arrival, private land access, accommodation, transport, guides, and also experiences, experiencing the best of Ireland and unique experiences as well going off the beaten track in Ireland. It’s a growing market and for this market its important to have very high standard accommodation. high level of service and accommodation which Ireland is renowned for worldwide. People love to come to Ireland for scenery, nature, culture.”
Danielle Murrihy – representing Hayfield Manor, said, “It is extremely important to us as this is the second time for us to come to the Middle East, it’s a growing and relatively new market, we are predominantly domestic and we are trying to grow a different market and we feel that what we have to offer is perfect for this market and to have joined Tourism Ireland in their quest to grow their market here. We have a stunning five star property in the south of Ireland, it is family owned and family run boutique style property and the family is very much involved so you experience authentic Irish hospitality and because we are in the city you can walk in the city center as it is a great luxury property with rich art and culture and shopping from the south of Ireland. Tourism Ireland is doing a really great job in the ultra-luxe experience.”
Keith Barry – world-renowned Irish magician, hypnotist, and mentalist, said, “It is fantastic to be here with Tourism Ireland this year at Tfest, really my talk is about how travel can magically awaken your senses and, of course, Ireland is packed with all different experiences and can highlight your senses, get your senses enhanced and the talk I’m giving today is about the fact that when we go on holidays we don’t just have just one holiday but three holidays. It is important that people understand that neurologically our minds don’t know the difference between an imagined experience and an experience actually happening.”