Ruth Andrews, ITOA Chief Executive, appointed as new Chairperson of ITIC – Irish Tourism Industry Confederation

Ruth Andrews accepted the position of Chairperson at the ITIC 2019 AGM, taking over the role from out-going Chairman Maurice Pratt.  Having served on the board of ITIC for four years, and as Vice-Chair for the past two years, she acknowledged Maurice’s commitment and work over the past two years, representing the Tourism Industry and delivering the Industries 2025 Strategy for Tourism.

‘I am very honoured to accept this position and look forward to continuing the great work that Maurice, the board and executive have done in developing a road map for the Irish tourism industry as provided by the 2025 Strategy.  The industry has flourished and experienced unprecedented growth particularly in the past three years and we must stay focused on ensuring the continued success and growth of this important indigenous export industry.  Through our success we have and continue to deliver the most jobs of any other sector with 1 in every 10 jobs being in tourism nationally.  However there is no time for complacency and we must ensure that the Government continues to deliver policies that enable the industry to prosper’.

She thanked Cormac O’Connell, daa for accepting the position of Vice-Chairman and welcome new members of the board including Darren Byrne, ITOA, Con Quill, Irish Caravan & Camping Council, Nick Mottram, Irish Ferries, Michael Lennon, IHF, joined by existing board members Dara McMahon, Aer Lingus and Adrian Cummins, Restaurants Association of Ireland.

Vagabond Tours – Best Ireland’s Ancient East Tourism Experience

ITOA Members – Winners at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2019

ITOA members were again strong contenders and recipients at this year’s Irish Tourism Industry Awards.  Winners in three of the 15 categories were;

Vagabond Tours – Best Ireland’s Ancient East Tourism Experience – Under 25,000 Visitors

Odyssey International DMC – Best Meet In Ireland Business Tourism Innovation

Vagabond Tours – Best Environmental Tourism Innovation

Competition was strong on all three categories.  Odyssey International DMC’s managing director Kevin Shannon said;

‘this award is for an incentive programme that we managed last August for 2,700 participants.  Many said this couldn’t be done in Ireland but I am delighted to say that it was hugely successful with a 99% satisfaction rating from the clients.  This award is a real endorsement of our team in Odyssey International DMC and Ireland’s ability to create world class incentive programmes.’

In accepting both awards on the evening and as winners at the last two year’s events, Vagabond Tours, Rob Rankin said;

‘we were thrilled to receive the first award this evening for the IAE best experience but to also win Best Environmental Tourism Innovation is very special.  The entire team in Vagabond are very committed to environmental sustainability and we have worked really hard over the past couple of years to ensure that we and our suppliers work together to play our part in respecting Ireland’s green, clean environment and ensuring that we protect it for our visitors to enjoy for years to come, mindful also that we respect the locals and their ability to live in harmony with holiday makers visiting their communities’.

Other ITOA member finalists included:

Abbey Conference & Events

EI Travel Group

Moloney & Kelly Travel



D Cronin ITOA Presents

Derry Cronin Vice-President ITOA presents the Best Intl. Access Award to Shannon Airport Neil Pakey, with Minister Donohoe.

The in augural Irish Tourism Industry Awards took place on Friday April 24th last.
The event was a terrific success with well over 500 industry professionals attending the glittering Awards Ceremony on Friday night last in the Double Tree By Hilton. An ITIC initiative, the awards were supported in no short measure by ITOA as sponsors and Eamonn McKeon, CX of ITIC acknowledging that the Awards were a hobby horse of Brian McColgan, Chairman of Abbey Tours who advocated its inception through an Industry Steering Group. The organizing committee who worked for many months on creating the awards and ensuring the initiative was such a success in its first year included our own Chief Executive, Ruth Andrews along with industry colleagues, Paul Gallagher (ITIC Incoming Chairperson and IHF), Margaret O’Reilly & Sinead Grace Tourism Ireland, Alex Connolly & Louise Tolerton, Failte Ireland, Aileesh Carew, Irish Design 2015 and Eamonn and Arlene from ITIC. Event Organizers was our own member Advantageico, Ronan and the team who really ensured that it was an inaugural event to remember. But the night belonged to the winners and we are delighted to celebrate the success of ITOA members as follows:

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Vagabond Winners

Best Adventure Experience – Vagabond Adventure Tours

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Best Business Tourism Innovation – Advantage ico Group & Kerry Convention Bureau – Adventure Travel World Summit 2014

Best Business Tourism Innovation – Advantage ico Group & Kerry Convention Bureau – Adventure Travel World Summit 2014

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Best International Marketing Initiative - CIE Tours International

Best International Marketing Initiative – CIE Tours International


And ITOA members were in no short supply when it came to the list of finalists per category too – Abbey Tours, The Travel Corporation – Brendan Vacations, CIE Tours, Odyssey International and MCI Dublin.

Sue Uda President said “It was a terrific occasion to celebrate tourism and the businesses and people who work so hard to deliver the very best to our visitors. We are very proud of our industry and the timing of the Awards could not have been better. I am particularly proud however that our sector was so well represented and participated so enthusiastically in these National Awards. Congratulations to all of the winners, finalists and entrants and we are looking forward to the 2017 Awards already!”