Ten leading tour operators from India recently enjoyed a two-day visit to Northern Ireland prior to attending a B2B tourism workshop in Limerick. Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland, the group experienced at first-hand some of the many things to see and do in Northern Ireland.
Following an itinerary devised by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the group travelled along the scenic Causeway Coastal Route, stopping off at the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge before enjoying a tour of the Old Bushmills Distillery and a visit to the Giant’s Causeway. In Belfast, Titanic was very much the theme of the tour operators’ visit, as they took in the TITANICa exhibition at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra, the Titanic Walking tour and a visit to Titanic Belfast.
Huzan Fraser, Tourism Ireland India, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring these influential tour operators to Northern Ireland, so they can experience for themselves the high standard and variety of the tourism product on offer for Indian holidaymakers. The majority of our overseas visitors are from the core tourism markets of Great Britain, Mainland Europe and North America, and while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by emerging tourism markets in Asia like India. Our aim, with visits such as this, is to increase awareness of Northern Ireland among influential tour operators, to encourage them to feature Northern Ireland as a new destination in their programmes or to extend the content of Northern Ireland in their existing programmes.”
With offices in Mumbai and Delhi, Tourism Ireland’s programme of promotional activity in India involves co-operative campaigns with airlines and influential tour operators, to ensure Northern Ireland features prominently in itineraries and travel brochures; hosting familiarisation visits for travel agents and tour operators around Northern Ireland; as well as working closely with travel and lifestyle journalists, to ensure Northern Ireland features in the media in India.
Indian tour operators at the Old Bushmills Distillery, Co Antrim, with Evelyn Vas, Tourism Ireland (second row, second left) and tour guide Ken McElroy (back, left).
For further information:
Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 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