Conference, meeting and event organisers from Germany, France, Spain and Belgium visited Co Down and Northern Ireland last week. Invited here by Tourism Ireland, the group visited various venues and visitor attractions, following an itinerary devised by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
Prior to lunch and a tour at Ballywalter Park House with Lord and Lady Dunleath, the group enjoyed a morning of activities at Castle Ward near Strangford; the activities on offer included a sea safari around Strangford Lough or the chance to experience a “Games of Thrones” tour. They did a site inspection of the Culloden Hotel at Cultra, where they also enjoyed a falconry demonstration. In Belfast, they visited Titanic Belfast and took a tour of the SS Nomadic; they were also treated to a cookery demonstration at James Street South, with chef Niall McKenna.
Zoë Redmond, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Central Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted that so many of these key business tourism decision-makers have taken the time to visit Co Down and Northern Ireland, to experience for themselves some of the superb facilities on offer here. Seeing is believing – so fact-finding visits like this are extremely important to help build awareness of the destination and the world-class business tourism product here, among key influencers from Germany, France, Spain and Belgium.
“Business tourism is an extremely important, high yield sector and Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of promotions under way to grow this type of tourism to Northern Ireland. Familiarisation visits like this are an important element of that programme, so that key influencers get to experience at first-hand what Northern Ireland has to offer. As well as highlighting the world-class conference and meetings facilities in Northern Ireland, we are also showcasing the great experiences delegates can enjoy here on the sidelines of their conference or meeting.”
On the staircase of Ballywalter Park House, Co Down, are Lord and Lady Dunleath (front, left and second right) with business tourism buyers from France, Germany, Belgium and Spain. Also pictured are Orla Kraft, Tourism Ireland (front, 2nd left) and Willie Lougheed, NITB (back, left).
Further media 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 2012, 1.55 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of £418 million.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is ireland.com, which is rolling out in 11 different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.