Twenty-five Italian travel agents are on a visit to Northern Ireland this week, organised by Tourism Ireland, in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Aer Lingus.
This is the grand finale of IRE-LOVERS, Tourism Ireland’s online training programme for Italian travel agents on selling holidays to the island of Ireland. Each year, the top travel agents are selected to visit the island of Ireland after completing the training and this is the first time the itinerary has been based entirely in Northern Ireland.
The agents’ trip includes a drive through the Glens of Antrim, a visit to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the Giant’s Causeway and a walking tour along the historic City Walls of Derry. The group will travel to Lusty Beg in Fermanagh with a stop en route at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh. The final day will take in the sights of Belfast and a visit to Mount Stewart before departing on the direct flight to Rome.
Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s Manager in Italy, said: “As a reward for completing their training on selling the island of Ireland, these travel agents will have the opportunity to experience our tourism product in Northern Ireland at first-hand.”
“Last year we welcomed 22,000 Italian visitors to Northern Ireland. Now with new Aer Lingus services to Belfast from Rome and Milan, Easyjet from Venice and Jet2 from Pisa, we are looking forward to growing visitor numbers from this market.”
Karen Houlahan, Derry Visitor & Convention Bureau (third from right) and Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland Italy (second from right), on the historic City Walls with a group of Italian travel agents.
Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland, tel: 028 7035 9260/ 0776 652 7719
Stephen McGrath, Weber Shandwick, tel: 028 9034 7300/ 077 7088 6920