A group of leading Japanese travel writers recently enjoyed an action-packed, two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland in Japan, their itinerary was designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
The Japanese visitors experienced a city tour in Belfast before they travelled along the Causeway Coastal Route, visiting the Giant’s Causeway and the Old Bushmills Distillery. After an overnight stay at the Bushmills Inn, the group enjoyed a guided tour of the walled city of Derry.
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s Head of New and Developing Markets, said: “We are delighted to welcome these Japanese travel writers to Northern Ireland. Familiarisation visits such as these are extremely important as they help build awareness of the wonderful tourism product on offer in Northern Ireland. The aim is that when these writers return home they are better equipped to put into words what a holiday in this part of the world entails, thereby encouraging more Japanese to come here and experience it for themselves.
“Japan is one of our emerging markets which also include Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, China, India and the Middle East. These markets represent good potential for tourism to Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland; visitors from these markets stay twice as long as the average holidaymaker and have the highest spend per visit.”
Enjoying their tour of the Old Bushmills Distillery are travel writers from Japan with Robert Galbraith, distillery tour guide (left); Tomoko Okada, Tourism Ireland Japan (back row right); and Declan Somers, tour guide (right).
Further media information:
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.