What a whirlwind few days it has been in the USA.
I was lucky enough to be invited to Jump Into Ireland Washington, Atlanta and Boca Raton on the first week of March and what a Jump it was.
The goal of the Jump into Ireland is to provide a platform for the Island of Ireland suppliers to promote their product to travel agents in the USA. We met a wide variety of high end consortia travel agents from AMEX, Ensemble, Signature, Virtuoso, AAA, Group and Golf producers.
There was a 60 minute travel presentation that featured on-stage interviews with all of the Irish trade, which included, accommodation providers, attractions, and tour operators like myself.
The fabulous Colin Hamill was the master of ceremonies and very kindly held our hands through the on stage presentation!
First Stop – Washington DC
After a long flight to Washington, I arrived at the fabulous Dupont Circle hotel and checked into my room. I felt the need to stretch my legs so the concierge very kindly pointed me in the direction of the White House, what an amazing welcome to Washington!
After a restful night’s sleep we had some free time and decided to take the big red bus tour for a whistle stop tour of Washington. We saw the White House (in daylight), the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the Vietnam veterans memorial and so many more sights. Washington is such a fascinating city, steeped in history and culture.
Event 1 –Washington
As we were here to do some work, we all arrived promptly to the Willard Intercontinental Hotel for the first event. All in our finery the doors opened and we welcomed over 60 travel agents and media. After an hour of networking we enjoyed some fun on stage with our presentations.
All over by 9pm it was back to the hotel and into bed for an early flight the next morning.
Event 2 – Atlanta
Early start back to Washington Airport we flew down to Atlanta where there wasn’t much time to spare to get scrubbed up for our next event. The beautiful St Regis Hotel was the venue. We were joined by the Minister for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan; it was great addition to have the Minister join us for two days. Again another brilliant evening with numerous travel agents and media asking lots of Questions about the Emerald Isle.
Event 3 – Boca Raton
Another day, another flight and the final destination for the trip. The sun was shining and we were happy landing at Fort Lauderdale airport. We arrived at the hotel and had an hour to spare so we had a quick bite of lunch and soaked up the sunshine! Last event of the week. We arrived at the Boca Raton Resort. We welcomed 70 agents and media. I even met a US travel agent who stayed with a friend of mine in Killarney – small world!! We finished the night with a few drinks and friendships that will continue in Ireland.
It was a whirlwind of a week but I met so many wonderful people and made lots of contacts.
A big thank you to Hillarie McGuinness and her team at Tourism Ireland who organised on a fantastic week. Bring on 2017.