Following last night’s hugely successful MTV awards, with the eyes of the world fixed on Belfast and Northern Ireland, a major tourism push for 2012 kicks off today as many Northern Ireland tourism operators travel to London, to join Tourism Ireland at World Travel Market (WTM). They will be working hard to capitalise on the global spotlight on Belfast and Northern Ireland and to maximise the tourism potential for 2012 and beyond.
World Travel Market is the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar and this year the Tourism Ireland stand will have a special Titanic look, celebrating the wonderful shipbuilding heritage of Belfast and the legacy of the iconic ship. As we move towards 2012, and the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s maiden voyage, a large image of Titanic will form the backdrop of the stand. Three Titanic characters will mix with guests; including “first class passenger” Thomas Andrews, the “designer” of Titanic and the “captain” of the ship – all in full costume to engage visitors to the stand with tales about Titanic and the many things to see and do in Belfast and Northern Ireland.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “The large representation of Northern Ireland industry partners on the Tourism Ireland stand at WTM this year is extremely welcome and essential in the highly competitive global marketplace. Following last night’s spectacular event, we all have a wonderful opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland as an exciting, vibrant destination here at World Travel Market.
“Tourism Ireland has been working hard all year, to keep Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland ‘top of mind’ for people around the world who can be persuaded to take a holiday or short break overseas. The recently announced growth in overseas visitor numbers of +11% for the first half of the year is welcome news indeed for everyone in the tourism industry in Northern Ireland; and the associated growth in overseas tourism revenue of +24% is particularly good news.
“2012 will be a busy and exciting time for Northern Ireland and a major opportunity for tourism with an exciting programme of events and the completion of iconic new attractions like Titanic Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre. Over the next year, Tourism Ireland will invest millions of pounds in the most extensive programme of marketing activity ever undertaken for Northern Ireland around the world.”
Now in its 32nd year, World Travel Market will welcome almost 50,000 representatives of the travel industry from around the world this week and 3,000 influential international media. According to the organisers of WTM, about £1.4 billion’s worth of business was transacted at the event last year. This year, 66 tourism enterprises from Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland – including hotels, ferry companies, visitor attractions, coach hire companies, incoming tour operators, activity providers, hostels and car hire companies – are exhibiting at the Tourism Ireland stand, which provides an invaluable platform for the participating companies to network, negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2012.
Further media information:
Elaine Moore / Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260 Mob: 07766 527719
Notes to Editors:
NORTHERN IRELAND PARTNERS ON THE TOURISM IRELAND STAND AT WTM 2011
• Armagh City & District Council
• Belfast City Council
• Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau
• Best Western White Horse Hotel
• Causeway Coast & Glens
• Derry City Hotel
• Derry City Tours
• Derry Visitor & Convention Bureau
• DSD SS Nomadic Project
• Fáilte Feirste Thiar
• Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism
• Hastings Hotels
• Lisburn City Council
• National Museums Northern Ireland
• Northern Ireland Hotels Federation
• Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts
• Stena Line
• Titanic Belfast
• Ulsterbus Tours