Twenty-one members of the Confederation of Independent Tour Operators (CITO) from around Great Britain visited Northern Ireland this week on a fact-finding visit organised by Tourism Ireland in association with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
The group included decision-makers from some of the top independent GB tour operators, who package and sell holidays to customers around Britain. In addition to holding their AGM in Belfast, they took some time out to do a city tour and to visit Titanic Belfast, the Titanic Dock and Pump House, as well as the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra. The tour operators were really impressed by our visitors attractions and delighted with the warm welcome they received. The aim of the visit was to enthuse them about Northern Ireland and encourage them to include it in their future programmes.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of GB, said: “We are really pleased these independent tour operators have taken time out of their busy schedules to visit and to experience for themselves the high standard and variety of what Northern Ireland has to offer GB visitors, including attractions such as Titanic Belfast.
“Great Britain is our largest and most important tourism market and this year Tourism Ireland is rolling out the new ‘GB Path to Growth’ strategy, which aims to return this all-important market to sustained growth. We are targeting new groups that are receptive to the type of experience Northern Ireland can offer and raising awareness of the many things to see and do here and the great value available. Our message is that there has never been a better time to visit.”
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 2011, 1.5 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of £368 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.