Leading travel agents from Australia and New Zealand enjoyed a fact-finding visit to Northern Ireland over the weekend, as guests of Tourism Ireland, to check out some of the many things to see and do here for holidaymakers from ‘Down Under’. Despite the wet weather, the group enjoyed every part of their itinerary, which was prepared by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
The travel experts began their visit in Londonderry, with a tour of the walled city which included visits to St Columb’s Cathedral and the Tower Museum. They then headed along the Causeway Coastal Route, stopping off at Dunluce Castle, the Giant’s Causeway, the Old Bushmills Distillery and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. The final stop of their visit to Northern Ireland was Belfast, with a tour of Titanic Belfast and the SS Nomadic.
Diane Butler, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Australia, said: “We are delighted that these travel agents have taken time out from their busy schedules to come and visit Northern Ireland. For most, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our wonderful scenery, our rich heritage, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met. Familiarisation visits such as these are extremely important as they help the travel agents to know exactly what we have to offer potential holidaymakers from Australia and New Zealand; the aim is to really enthuse them about the destination, so that when they return home, they are better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans.
“The travel agents’ visit was also a wonderful opportunity to highlight the Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture programme and the fantastic range of events taking place this year. Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotions in Australia, and elsewhere around the world, to highlight the UK City of Culture programme this year.”
Travel agents from Australia and New Zealand at Dunluce Castle, Co Antrim, with Donna Campbell, Tourism Ireland (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.