Specialist French and Italian Tour Operators visit Northern Ireland

13 Mar 2009

Specialist tour operators from France and Italy visited Northern Ireland recently, on a fact-finding trip.  They were EFL (studying English as a Foreign Language) specialists, and were looking at potential locations for students wishing to come here to improve their English.
Their visit was organised by Tourism Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and supported by Aer Lingus, to showcase Northern Ireland’s language schools.  They visited the International House Language School and Queen’s University in Belfast before moving on to the Foyle Language School and the North West Academy in Londonderry.  The group also took time out to visit some of our main tourist sights, including a trip along the Causeway Coastal Route and the Walled City of Derry.

Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland France, said: “With the opening up of new air routes direct to Belfast from France and Italy, there is now a great opportunity to promote Northern Ireland, as a potential host destination for students wishing to improve their English.  The EFL sector is already very valuable business for the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain; there is definitely an opportunity now to grow business from this sector in Italy and France.  Northern Ireland is seen as a dynamic and modern place with a high standard of education and is known for its rich culture and warm welcome and this very much appeals to these influential agents and their students.”

Enjoying time out at the Giant’s Causeway are Dominique Vasseur, Tourism Ireland France (second from right); Mary O’Connor, Tourism Ireland Italy (fourth from right); and Martin Graham, Northern Ireland Tourist Board (far right) with a group of French and Italian EFL tour operators.


For further press information contact:
Elaine Moore / Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260 mobile: 077 6652 7719



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