A group of top travel agents from 17 different states across the United States visited Northern Ireland this week – as guests of Tourism Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, in conjunction with American Airlines and Aer Lingus. Many of the travel agents – all representatives of top-producing American travel companies like Ensemble, Virtuoso, Signature Vacations and American Express – enjoyed a fact-finding trip around Northern Ireland, in advance of attending a B2B workshop at Carton House in Maynooth, Co Kildare, with about 80 tourism providers from Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland.
The travel agents’ packed itinerary included Belfast, with a visit to Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic; the group then headed north along the Causeway Coastal Route to Bushmills. Following a visit to the Old Bushmills Distillery and the Giant’s Causeway, the agents travelled on to Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 for a guided walking tour of the city.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “We are delighted that so many of these influential travel agents took the time out of their busy schedules to come and visit Northern Ireland. Familiarisation visits such as these are extremely important, as the travel agents get to experience at first-hand the wealth of things to see and do here for American holidaymakers. Our aim is to enthuse them about the destination and ensure that when they return home they are better equipped to advise their clients about Northern Ireland when planning and booking their holidays.”
American travel agents at the Bushmills Inn, Co Antrim, with Sinéad Murray, Tourism Ireland (left).
For further media information, contact:
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.