A group of leading conference and event planners from Great Britain visited Northern Ireland last week, as part of a fact-finding visit organised by Tourism Ireland.
The group included decision-makers from various companies involved in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) industry who organise international conferences, meetings and large-scale incentive events. Their clients are involved in the financial, pharmaceutical and IT industries – all of whom hold events and meetings around the world.
As well as including a visit to the Lyric Theatre in Belfast where local chef Paul Rankin prepared lunch, the group’s itinerary – designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board – also took them to the Titanic Quarter, the Ulster Museum and to Baronscourt Estate near Omagh. The group also had the opportunity to attend the Titanic centenary commemorations in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall.
David Boyce, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Business and Sports Tourism, said: “Business tourism is an important, high yield sector which can deliver significant economic benefits and Tourism Ireland is working hard to promote Northern Ireland as a premier destination for meetings, conferences and events. We were delighted that this select group of key decision-makers took the time to visit Northern Ireland to sample what is available here and to meet some providers of our excellent tourism product.
“With its superb programme of major events, celebrations and commemorations, ni2012 offers a unique opportunity to change perceptions and confidently put Northern Ireland on the global tourism map in a new way. This is the year when Northern Ireland can take centre stage and we are pulling out all the stops to present it in a way that clearly differentiates us from our competitor destinations.”
Tourism Ireland is working to grow business tourism to Northern Ireland from GB and other key markets around the world. A busy programme of activity this year includes high profile events and promotions highlighting the great facilities and good value rates available for meetings and conferences here. The superb infrastructure now on offer, coupled with the distinctive cultural experience, means Northern Ireland is now an even more viable and attractive destination for the business tourism market than ever before.
Celebrity chef Paul Rankin prepared lunch for GB conference and event planners and David Boyce, Tourism Ireland (back row, left) during a recent visit to the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.
For further 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.
• 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.