Tourism Ireland invited 41 leading Great Britain coach and group tour operators to Northern Ireland last week, to attend a workshop with tourism providers from around Northern Ireland. The event was organised jointly by Tourism Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, to encourage the visiting operators to feature Northern Ireland as a new destination in their programmes or to extend the Northern Ireland content of their existing programmes.
Following the workshop, the operators took part in a familiarisation trip around Northern Ireland. As well as a visit to Belfast and Londonderry, the group enjoyed a drive along the Causeway Coastal route, stopping off at the Carrick-a–rede Rope Bridge and visiting the new Giant’s Causeway Centre.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted these influential coach and group operators have had the opportunity to experience for themselves the high standard and variety of tourism product which Northern Ireland has to offer potential GB visitors, including the spectacular Causeway Coastal Route. 2012 has been a fantastic year for Northern Ireland, including the opening of the new Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre and Titanic Belfast, presenting us with a significant opportunity to deliver a new message to people in GB and elsewhere around the world and to position Northern Ireland as a ‘must-see’ destination.
“Tourism Ireland is rolling out its autumn campaign right now in GB, targeting millions of potential holidaymakers for city breaks and rural holidays, highlighting what makes a holiday here unique and truly memorable. Our message is that there has never been a better time to visit, with great value and terrific things to see and do – and these coach and group operators have now had the chance to experience this at first-hand.”
GB coach and group tour operators at the viewpoint for the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, Co Antrim, with Linda Duncan (third row, left) and Elaine Murray (third row, second right), both Tourism Ireland.
For further press information:
Elaine Moore / Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 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.