A group of top US and Canadian travel agents enjoyed a three-day fact-finding visit to Northern Ireland last week. Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland in New York in conjunction with American Airlines and Aer Lingus, their itinerary was put together by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board
The travel agents – all members of the top-producing US agencies including names like Ensemble, Virtuoso, MAST and Signature Vacations – had an opportunity to overnight in Belfast before travelling northwards to enjoy a tour of the Old Bushmills Distillery, Giant’s Causeway and a walking tour of the Walls of Derry.
The group then moved on to the Fermanagh Lakelands where they took in the National Trust’s wonderful property at Florence Court before heading to Lough Erne Golf Resort where they spent a night
American travel agents pictured outside Florence Court House in Fermanagh with Virginia Goff, Tourism Ireland US (fourth from left) and Eva Ewart, Florence Court guide (right).
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Vice-President of Marketing in the United States, said: "We are delighted so many travel agents took time out of their busy schedules to visit Northern Ireland. For many, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our wonderful scenery, the wealth of cultural and 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 travel agents to know exactly what we have to offer potential American holidaymakers; the aim is that when they return to the US they are better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans and trip bookings.
"Tourism Ireland has an extensive promotional programme in place in the US this autumn, highlighting Northern Ireland as a premier holiday destination. It is absolutely essential that we convey the message that there has never been a better time for Americans to visit Northern Ireland."
For further press information:
Elaine Moore / Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260 Mobile: 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.