The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau has announced that it will play host to the 2018 Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) Annual Conference, taking place this November.

Announced yesterday during ITAA's Irish Travel Trade Show in Dublin, the conference in Philadelphia will offer agents the opportunity to strengthen relationships with travel professionals throughout Ireland and to enjoy a first-hand experience of what Philadelphia can offer to Irish holidaymakers.

The city is to welcome several new tourism developments in 2018 including a new direct service from Dublin with Aer Lingus, which will join the already established year-round direct flight service from Dublin and seasonal service from Shannon with American Airlines. There will also be several new hotel openings such as the new Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at the city's new 60-story Comcast Center, providing guests with sky-high views of the city, and Starwood's new dual-branded W and Element Hotels, which will be located at 15th and Chestnut Streets.

Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA said: “This will be the first time the ITAA Conference has taken place outside of Europe and we expect the conference to sell out quickly. Philadelphia is an exciting and vibrant city, and the new direct service from Aer Lingus makes it even more accessible to Irish travellers.”

Greg Evans, PHLCVB’s account director for the UK & Ireland, said: “This is a great accolade for the city and with direct services with American Airlines and Aer Lingus from Dublin and an additional American Airlines seasonal service from Shannon, the timing of hosting the event couldn't come at a better time. It will be an excellent opportunity to showcase the city and surrounding areas to the Irish Travel Trade.”

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