Tourism Ireland has welcomed today’s re-launch by British Airways of its London Heathrow to George Best Belfast City Airport service. This will replace the BMI service which ended last month; it will operate daily, with up to seven flights a day. Working closely with airlines to build demand for routes is a key priority for Tourism Ireland and the re-establishment of this flight will provide a welcome boost for tourism from GB to Northern Ireland.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “The re-establishment of this key British Airways flight is really good news; it will certainly expand travel options for both leisure and business travellers who wish to visit Northern Ireland. As part of our ongoing co-operation with key carriers and airports, Tourism Ireland will undertake advertising and other promotions in GB together with British Airways, to maximise the demand for this route and boost tourism to Northern Ireland. As an island destination, direct, convenient and competitive access services are critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. Tourism Ireland is committed to working with air and sea carriers, airports and other tourism interests to drive demand for new flights, and all other services to Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland, and to help maintain our vital network of routes and services.
Niall Gibbons continued: “Great Britain is our largest and most important tourism market, delivering almost half of all our overseas visitors. Tourism Ireland has an extremely busy promotional programme in place in GB right throughout 2012, highlighting Northern Ireland as a fantastic destination.”
Further media 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.