A group of top travel agents from Australia visited Belfast last week, as part of a fact-finding trip. They were the lucky winners of an incentive promotion organised by Tourism Ireland in Australia – they were selected as they sold the most flights and holidays to Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland.
Their action-packed visit was organised by Tourism Ireland in Sydney, in conjunction with leading Irish destination management company Adams & Butler, as well as airline partners bmi and Malaysia Airlines, and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. One of the highlights of their visit was afternoon tea at The Merchant Hotel Belfast. The travel agents also visited the Ulster Museum, enjoyed an historical pub walking tour of Belfast as well as a Titanic Boat Tour on the River Lagan.
Caroline Brunel, Tourism Ireland’s Manager in Australia, said: “Visits such as this are extremely important to help build awareness of Belfast and the rest of Northern Ireland. Australians are always amazed at how much there is to see and do in Northern Ireland and, in comparison to Australia in particular, just how accessible everything is here. Our aim is that when they return home they are better equipped to advise their customers when planning and booking their holidays.
“Australia and New Zealand are important markets for tourism to Northern Ireland, delivering 50,000 visitors last year. Tourism Ireland has had a strong promotional programme in place throughout 2010, highlighting
Northern Ireland as a fantastic holiday destination. We have been placing significant emphasis on value for money, to drive home to Australian consumers our message about the superb range of offers available and what makes Northern Ireland so special.”
Pictured on the steps of The Merchant Hotel in Belfast are top Australian travel agents with Adrian McLaughlin, General Manager of The Merchant Hotel (left); Therese Cunningham, tour guide (second left); and Justin Ryan, Tourism Ireland (right).
For further information:
Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260 Mob: 07766 527719
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 42 different websites, providing information in 20 different languages covering every continent. In 2009 discoverireland.com attracted a record 13+ million unique visitors, a +34% increase in visits on 2008.