With just weeks to go to the opening of Titanic Belfast, international interest in the new visitor experience is soaring. A group of travel and lifestyle journalists from Belgium and the Netherlands flew to Belfast last week, to check out some of the exciting new tourism developments in the pipeline for the city and to explore some of many things to see and do here.
Representing a number of leading Belgian and Dutch publications, the journalists were invited here by Tourism Ireland, in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Tourism Ireland’s publicity drive for ni2012 is targeting influential print, broadcast and online media (including prominent bloggers) around the world. The organisation has invited about 120 top international journalists to visit in the two-week period around the Titanic Belfast Festival alone.
As well as visiting the Titanic Dock and Pump House, the Belgian and Dutch journalists also enjoyed a ‘sneak preview’ of the new Titanic Belfast building. Monica Nerney, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Northern Europe, said: “There is huge interest in the birthplace of Titanic and in ni2012. These journalists were really delighted to be in Belfast and to have the opportunity to see inside the iconic Titanic Belfast before its official opening and to find out more about the extraordinary legacy of the ship. Visits such as this are an excellent opportunity to showcase Belfast and Northern Ireland, as the articles the journalists will write will be read by thousands of potential holidaymakers in Belgium and the Netherlands.
“The superb programme of new attractions, events and historic anniversaries taking place in Northern Ireland this year, including the opening of Titanic Belfast and the new Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, presents us with a significant opportunity to deliver a new message to potential visitors about Northern Ireland and to show them why they should choose to come here. Tourism Ireland’s promotions in Belgium and the Netherlands this year are capitalising on this unprecedented opportunity and highlighting the strengths of Northern Ireland – iconic experiences, warm, friendly people and value for money.”
Ruairí Lehmann, Tourism Ireland the Netherlands (left), with Dutch and Belgian journalists Constance van Amstel, Gijsbertus de Fokkert, Bart Delwig and Tonny van der Mee, at the Titanic Dock and Pump House in 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, approximately 1.51 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland (+6% on 2010), delivering revenue of approximately £340 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.