The sales team from top American tour operator Sceptre Tours, as well as a number of influential American travel agents, visited the Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick recently, to launch Sceptre’s 2013 programme of holidays and tours to Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland.
Sceptre Tours is one of the largest producers of group and individual travel business to Northern Ireland from the all-important North American market and Tourism Ireland representatives were on hand to meet the visiting group at the centre. The visit was one of two familiarisation trips taking place this month, which will see Sceptre Tours invite 80 of its key sales staff, as well as some of its top travel agency partners, to Northern Ireland. Their itineraries will take in Belfast, to explore all things Titanic; the North West, to hear about plans for the 2013 UK City of Culture celebrations; and Fermanagh, where they will call at the Lough Erne Golf Resort.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s executive vice-president North America, said: “We are delighted that Sceptre Tours decided to launch its 2013 programme here in Northern Ireland. At the same time, the travel agents and sales staff have also been given the chance to visit Downpatrick and Northern Ireland, to experience our wonderful scenery, and the many things to see and do here, at first-hand. Sceptre Tours is a very important tour operator for Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland works closely with Sceptre, and other leading tour operators across the US, to promote programmes featuring Northern Ireland.
“2012 has been a very special year for Northern Ireland, with a wide range of anniversaries, events and developments which have provided an unprecedented opportunity to put Northern Ireland in the spotlight in a completely new way, to capture and hold the focus of world attention for the most positive reasons. Now, we are looking to next year, with the Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 celebrations and the World Police and Fire Games in Belfast, which will provide fresh and compelling reasons for people around the globe to come and visit Northern Ireland.”
Simon Gregory, Tourism Ireland (front row, left) and Dr Tim Campbell, Saint Patrick Centre (front row, second left) are pictured with the Sceptre Tours sales team, including Janet Dudley (front row, centre), Bill Gardiner (third left, second row) and Anna Lorang, (back row, far right), at the Saint Patrick Centre, Downpatrick, Co Down.
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.
• In 2011, 1.5 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland (+4% on 2010), delivering revenue of £368 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 2011, discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.