17 Oct 2011

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster MLA met with the board members of Tourism Ireland in Belfast last week, ahead of the organisation’s October board meeting.  Tourism Ireland’s remit is to promote Northern Ireland across the world, this year focusing primarily on the four main tourism markets of Great Britain, North America, France and Germany.

Minister Foster took the opportunity to discuss Tourism Ireland’s plans for the promotion of NI2012, which will place Northern Ireland firmly in the global spotlight over the coming year, showcasing a ‘new’ and vibrant Northern Ireland around the world.

Arlene Foster said: “We cannot underestimate the importance of the European and American markets to Northern Ireland tourism.  Next year, Northern Ireland will be playing host to a range of unmissable opportunities including the outstanding Titanic Project.  We must capitalise on all the events on offer, particularly if we want to meet our challenging tourism targets.”
Speaking after the meeting, Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said:“We were delighted to have this opportunity to meet with our Minister here in Belfast, to discuss the exciting year ahead and the extensive promotional programme which Tourism Ireland will be rolling out across the globe.  With the completion of iconic, new tourist attractions like Titanic Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre as well as a host of fantastic events in the pipeline, NI2012 will provide a tremendous opportunity to position Northern Ireland as a ‘must see’ cultural tourism destination.”

Over the next 12 months Tourism Ireland will invest millions of pounds in the most extensive programme of marketing activity ever undertaken for Northern Ireland – to include TV, press, radio and cinema advertising, as well as extensive online campaigns and social media activity, promotional events and publicity.

                                                                                                                             Minister Foster with Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, and Ann Riordan, Chairperson of Tourism Ireland, ahead of Tourism Ireland’s October board meeting in Belfast.


Further media 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 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; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent.  In 2010 attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.



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