A group of almost 40 coach tour operators from Great Britain visited Northern Ireland recently, as part of a fact-finding visit organised by Tourism Ireland.
The group included decision-makers from coach tour companies who package and sell holidays to customers around GB. It was a first-time visit to Northern Ireland for everyone in the group and they were delighted with the warm welcome they received and impressed by the attractions they visited. The aim of the visit was to encourage them to include Northern Ireland in their future programmes.
As well as enjoying a visit to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra, their itinerary – designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board – also took them on a Belfast city tour, to Titanic Belfast and Titanic Dock and Pump House, before they headed along the Causeway Coastal route to the Giant’s Causeway. The trip also included time at Wrightbus in Ballymena, where they had an opportunity to inspect the factory facilities.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of GB, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted these influential coach tour operators have had the opportunity to experience for themselves the high standard and variety of what Northern Ireland has to offer GB visitors, including the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. 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 businesses 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.”
Coach tour operators from GB at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra, Co Down, with Debbie Moran, Tourism Ireland (second row, third right) and Dawn Hewitt, NITB (second row, fourth 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 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.