A group of influential tour operators based in Britain toured the Walls of Derry and the Tower Museum this week, as part of a fact-finding trip to Northern Ireland hosted by Tourism Ireland.
The group was made up of key decision-makers who are responsible for putting in place the arrangements for holidaymakers to Britain and Ireland from all over the world. Their visit was organised with the aim of growing Northern Ireland’s share of the huge worldwide tourism market. It was an excellent opportunity to introduce the tour operators to Derry~Londonderry as UK City of Culture 2013 and showcase the tourism product on offer in the city, including the Tower Museum, the historic walls and the wonderful hospitality. They also visited the Ulster Museum, Belfast City Hall, the Giant’s Causeway and the Old Bushmills Distillery to encourage the tour operators to include Londonderry and Northern Ireland in their future holiday programmes. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board provided assistance with arrangements on the ground.
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Australia & Developing Markets, said: “We are delighted that so many of these leading GB-based incoming operators have taken the time to visit Northern Ireland this week. For many, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our spectacular scenery, the wealth of historic attractions, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met.
“Familiarisation visits such as these are extremely important as they help the tour operators to know exactly what we have to offer potential holidaymakers; the aim is that when they return to work, they are better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans and trip bookings. In this difficult year for tourism, we are working hard to win business and to keep Londonderry and Northern Ireland ‘top of mind’ with potential overseas visitors.”
A group of influential tour operators based in Britain are pictured outside the Tower Museum with Claire Anderson, Tourism Ireland (fifth from left).
For further information:
Elaine Moore, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260 Mob: 077 6652 7719
Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is responsible for in excess of 4.9% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supported approximately 40,000 jobs.
• Over 1.4 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland in 2009, delivering revenue of £271 million.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 41 different websites, providing information in 19 different languages covering every continent. In 2009 discoverireland.com attracted a record 13+ million unique visitors, a +34% increase in visits on 2008.