Decision-makers from leading conference and event organisers in the Netherlands flew in on the inaugural bmibaby flight from Amsterdam to Belfast earlier this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland. The group included senior representatives of companies involved in the MICE (meetings, incentive, conferences and events) industry, who organise international conferences, meetings and large-scale incentive events.
They were here to inspect some of the meeting facilities and accommodation on offer in Belfast, as well as to sample some of the great experiences that delegates can enjoy here on the sidelines of their conference. Their itinerary, designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, included a walking tour of the Titanic Quarter as well as a visit to the Lyric Theatre and Queen’s University. They also had the chance to sample some of Northern Ireland’s top-quality, locally-produced food at the Belfast Cookery School.
Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons warmly welcomed the new bmibaby service, which will certainly help boost tourism business from the Dutch market to Northern Ireland. He said: “We look forward to working closely with bmibaby to maximise the promotion of this new route in the Netherlands. Tourism Ireland is committed to working with bmibaby, Belfast City Airport and other tourism interests to drive demand for this new service, and all other services to Northern Ireland, and to help maintain our vital network of routes and services.
“Familiarisation trips such as this are a great way for us to showcase Northern Ireland to decision-makers involved in the area of business tourism in the Netherlands. Business tourism is an important, high yield sector and Tourism Ireland is working hard to promote Belfast and Northern Ireland as a premier destination for conferences and large-scale events. This visit was also a great opportunity to tell the visiting group about the many exciting events planned for Northern Ireland under the banner of ‘NI 2012’. With the opening of iconic new tourist attractions like Titanic Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre next year, ‘NI 2012’ is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland.”
Pictured at Queen’s University Belfast are Dutch conference and incentive organisers with Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland (right).
Further media 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 supports approximately 40,000 jobs.
• Approximately 1.4 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately £210 million.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent. In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.