Tourism Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board hosted a high profile group of airline executives this week at the Aer Lingus agents’ annual commercial conference in Belfast.
With the opening of the new Aer Lingus hub at Belfast International Airport, the group, encouraged by Tourism Ireland and NITB, chose Northern Ireland as this year’s conference destination.
Over 60 delegates from 17 countries across Europe took time out from their conference sessions in Belfast to enjoy the attractions of the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Mount Stewart Gardens and the Ards Peninsula.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Northern Europe said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to showcase some of the best of what Northern Ireland has to offer European visitors to these influential Aer Lingus representatives. Europe has been a major growth area for travel to Northern Ireland, and to the island of Ireland as a whole, in recent years. It was great to see Aer Lingus agents from 17 European countries enjoying Belfast and Co Down, and networking with representatives from the Northern Ireland Regions to learn more about the destination’s wider appeals.”
Margaret Shannon, Head of Europe Sales Aer Lingus, said: “With the launch last December of our new Belfast base, the city was the natural choice of location for this year’s conference. For many of our delegates it has been the first time to see what Northern Ireland has to offer the European visitor and to date everyone has been impressed with the excellent tourism product on offer.”
Enjoying the Gardens at Mount Stewart are (l-r) Julia Howe, Avia Reps Germany; Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland; Giulio Santoro, Avia Reps Italy; Martyn Strijker, Avia Reps Holland; Dawn Hewitt, NITB; and Margaret Shannon, Aer Lingus.
Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland, tel: 028 7035 9260/ 07766 527719
Sonya Cassidy, Weber Shandwick, tel: 028 9034 7300/ 07770 886949