Twenty-five top US and Canadian travel agents enjoyed a four-day fact-finding visit to Northern Ireland last week, prior to attending a B2B tourism workshop in Co Wicklow. Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland in New York, their itinerary was put together by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
The travel agents – all members of the top-producing US agencies including names like Ensemble, Virtuoso and Signature Vacations – had an opportunity to overnight at the Lough Erne Golf Resort in Enniskillen before travelling northwards to enjoy a tour of the historic Walls of Derry, the Giant’s Causeway and the Old Bushmills Distillery. The group also took in the National Trust’s wonderful gardens at Mount Stewart, the Ards Peninsula and the St Patrick Centre in Downpatrick before completing their visit with an overnight stay at the legendary Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Vice-President of Marketing in the United States, said: “We are delighted so many travel agents took time out of their busy schedules to visit Northern Ireland. For many, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our wonderful scenery, the wealth of cultural and historic attractions, 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 American holidaymakers; the aim is that when they return to the US they are better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans and trip bookings.
“Tourism Ireland has an extensive promotional programme in place in the US this autumn, highlighting Northern Ireland as a premier holiday destination. It is absolutely essential that we convey the message that there has never been a better time for Americans to visit Northern Ireland.”
American travel agents pictured outside St Columb’s Cathedral in Londonderry during their recent tour of the city. Also included is Karen Houlahan, Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau (second right).
For further press information:
Elaine Moore / Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
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